Psychosynthesis is a therapeutic approach that aims to facilitate & guide the individual in their journey of growth, self-realisation and self-actualisation. It is a transpersonal model, giving attention to the soul, to the person’s potential and to greater aspirations of higher nature, such as compassion, altruism, intuition and creativity. Called by some as ‘Psychology of Hope’ or ‘Psychology of the Soul’, Psychosynthesis sees the individual beyond their personality and current situation, allowing for what is trying to emerge in them.
The ‘synthesis’ refers to the balance and harmony between the different personalities and subpersonalities within each individual, and also between the psychological forces and the unconscious influences; integrating into a stronger, more authentic, more conscious ‘whole’. The person will then find a deeper sense of identity, the centre that remains constant in their essence, their core: their Self. The therapeutic process is considered a journey of increasing self-awareness and growth, where the clients discover and develop their inner strength and their own skills to live the lives they wish to live.
Psychosynthesis was developed by the Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli (1888 – 1974), one of the first to introduce Psychoanalysis in Italy. Assagioli went beyond Freud’s ideas and principles, adding the spiritual dimension and potential for the future into his work. In Psychosynthesis, we explore the past, as reference and a way to understand current situations and patterns; we look at the present, here & now, what is troubling the client, recognising patterns of behaviour and other possible influences; and, in addition, the therapist sees the client as a soul and is constantly looking at what is trying to emerge and their potential for the future.
Assagioli studied different philosophical, psychological and spiritual traditions, including Psychoanalysis, Jungian psychology, Existentialism, Buddhism, Yoga and Jewish mysticism. Consequently, Psychosynthesis is an integrative model, which welcomes and utilizes different methods from other approaches and cultures. Some of the most common exercises and techniques applied are: meditation, Gestalt, imagery, visualisation, drawing, journal keeping, exploration of dreams etc.
Psychosynthesis is a therapeutic model that sees the individual as a whole, including both their personality and their soul. The therapist works with the client’s presenting issues, and also looks at their potential and what’s trying to emerge. The therapist might use exercises during the sessions, but only if relevant and meaningful to that specific client.
Psychosynthesis aims to guide the individual in their journey of growth, self-realisation and self-actualisation. Finding meaning and purpose in life.
Written by Adriana Gordon, Psychosynthesis Counsellor, at London Private Counselling.