Core Concepts and Theory in the Transpersonal Approach to Counselling

935 words 4 pages

What are some of the core concepts and theory when considering the transpersonal approach?

The work of the transpersonal draws largely from mainstream psychological concepts and theory in order to ground its practice in science. However, unlike mainstream psychological paradigms, the transpersonal acknowledges that “our essential nature is spiritual” (Phoenix Institute of Australia, 2012) and that as human beings we have “valid urges towards the spiritual” (Phoenix Institute of Australia, 2012). The transpersonal approach is based on this notion of the spiritual self as the foundation for our psychological structure of the self and therefore proposes that we exist simultaneously in a multitude of realities, including
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Similarly the transpersonal approach does not consider consciousness to be fixed to the every day waking experience of life. Instead, there exists a variety of states of consciousness outside our every day experience or ‘Ordinary Waking State (OWS)’ (Phoenix Institute of Australia, 2012) which may be accessed via ‘induction methods’ and contain alternate potentialities that cannot be realized in the OWS. It is this way in which the transpersonal recognizes and integrates the notion of altered states that shapes the transpersonal view of health as a positive state, not the absence of disease.

It is the acceptance and integration of altered states of consciousness synthesized with a biomedical understanding of the psychological self which allows the transpersonal to transcend time and culture. This synthesis is visible in Fischers model of ASC’s and Arousal States as it describes a symbiotic relationship between the central nervous system and altered states of consciousness whereby the two are co-dependent and mutually influential. The transcendence of time and culture can be seen in the ability to compare the visionary practices of the ancient shaman with those of the modern transpersonal practitioner. It could be said that the transpersonal practitioner adopts a ‘shamanic’ approach to altered states of consciousness, considering such states