WHAT DOES TRANSPERSONAL MEAN ?
Transpersonal Psychology is a field in psychology that is focused on the spiritual aspects of human life. It has its roots in the work of humanistic psychologists including Carl Jung, who was deeply interested in the spiritual aspects of human nature. Transpersonal Psychology is a holistic (whole-person) psychology which embraces the important role of self-transcendent states, mystical states, psychedelic experiences and other forms of non-ordinary and exceptional states of consciousness in fostering personal transformation, well-being and optimal human flourishing.
Humanistic psychology honored and embraced consciousness, introspection and the other uniquely human qualities which were left out of psychoanalysis and behaviourism. This new holistic and multi-modal approach to psychology also shifted the emphasis from the dysfunction-based models of psychoanalysis, and the animal-research basis of behaviourism, to an approach focused on growth, wellness, human potential, self-actualization and the interdependence of mind and body.
One of the key figures in the history of transpersonal psychology, Stanislav Grof, put it this way:
“Western science is approaching a paradigm shift of unprecedented proportions, one that will change our concepts of reality and of human nature, bridge the gap between ancient wisdom and modern science, and reconcile the differences between Eastern spirituality and Western pragmatism.”
Ultimately, Transpersonal Psychology is based on the fact that we are spiritual beings, that a soul exists that can store experiences materially and temporally independently of the body, including from the time before conception. This idea expresses the adjective ‘transpersonal’.
To convey access to the inner wisdom that healing primarily does not come from outside, but comes from one's own self. A transpersonal coach does not insist on a specific scheme or method, but often chooses the intuitive approach from the presence of the unified field of consciousness; the coach puts more emphasis on ‘not knowing’ than anything else. This may be the most important prerequisite for the coach: to be open enough to go beyond what he has learned, and to engage with the wisdom that arises from being present. The presence of the coach creates a deeper awareness of the client's self, which initiates the actual healing process; presence can convey access to the inner wisdom that healing primarily does not come from outside, but comes from one's own self.
The great C.G. Jung described healing as an alchemical process that can only take place when people essentially meet. The ways into the transpersonal area may be different, but ultimately the goal is always to arrive in the here and now, in the presence of pure being. There is no longer anything personal that wants to impose itself on another, since the non-dual experience of presence transcends all concepts and beliefs.
Transpersonal Breathwork is an essential, practical part of Transpersonal Psychology, a specific approach to Breathwork that goes beyond the individual ego and personal identity, delving into the realm of transpersonal experiences and higher states of consciousness. It is a form of experiential psychotherapy that seeks to explore and integrate aspects of the self beyond the ordinary sense of self.
In Transpersonal Breathwork, practitioners use conscious and connected breathing techniques to induce altered states of consciousness. These altered states can open the door to profound insights, expanded awareness, and a sense of interconnectedness with all of existence. Participants may experience spiritual or mystical dimensions, encounter archetypal symbols, or access memories from different times or even past lives.
The goal of Transpersonal Breathwork is not only personal healing and growth but also the exploration of universal or collective aspects of the human experience. It can lead to a deeper understanding of one's purpose, connection to a greater sense of meaning, and a sense of oneness with the universe.
Transpersonal Breathwork is often facilitated in a safe and supportive environment, allowing participants to explore their inner landscapes and work through unresolved emotions and traumas. It can be a powerful tool for personal transformation, self-discovery, and spiritual development, enabling individuals to tap into their highest potential and connect with the vastness of the human experience.
Among the well-known Breathwork Methods in the transpersonal field are Holotropic Breathing, Conscious Connected Breathwork (also known as Rebirthing), and Transformational Breathwork. Each of these powerful techniques shares a common foundation while having their own unique nuances that make them stand out.
The Breathwork of Synthesis, inspired by Holotropic Breathing, stands as one of the most powerful and effective methods of experiential psychotherapy and deep self-exploration within Transpersonal Psychology. It offers an opportunity for self-exploration, self-discovery, spiritual awakening, and expanding consciousness.
By entering holotropic states, we can go beyond the confines of the ego and connect with our true identity. The method harnesses the healing potential of extended consciousness, enabling us to integrate different levels of experience. Its primary objective is to foster greater self-understanding and address emotional and psychosomatic issues at their root. Moreover, it facilitates the release of inhibiting personality aspects, allowing for the free expression of our innate talents and creativity.
Transpersonal Breathwork delve into underlying problems rather than masking them, increasing the likelihood of authentic resolution and leading to both personal transformation and spiritual openness. Within our psyche and bodies, we carry traces of various traumatic events that may manifest as symptoms and disturbances, but through consistent use of this transformative tool, we can address and heal these unresolved issues.