Saturday, 28 September 2013

What is Transpersonal Growth Counselling?

The word “Trans – personal” can be translated as “beyond personal”, or beyond the ego. It can be broken down into two roots ‘trans’ meaning ‘beyond or through’ and ‘personal’ which is derived from the word ‘persona’ i.e. our identity, mask or personality.  The word transpersonal, therefore, represents those fundamentals of ourselves which are ‘beyond’ the individuality to which we normally connect ourselves.

“Self-actualisation, propounded by Abraham Maslow's research is a key factor in the development of Transpersonal Psychology, which has since been developed by the work of many others. Transpersonal Psychology encompasses three major areas:

  • Beyond-Ego Psychology
  • Integrative/Holistic Psychology
  • Transformative Psychology
It provides a powerful model of personal growth, human development and individual healing. The Transpersonal model places problems, infirmity and complexity in a larger context of growth.  Self actualisation, conscience, enlightenment, becoming a better person, spirituality, growing awareness, is given greater emphasis. It invites us to step beyond our partial or regular response to our situation by drawing on the wisdom of all of who we are: body, mind and spirit. Transpersonal counselling draws on a wide range of modern and ancient traditions incorporating both empirical and esoteric perspectives to enable an individual to contact an expanded perspective on their personal life issues. The purpose of transpersonal counselling is to allow the client to engage in their own personal healing journey.  Typical ‘personal’ problems such as:
  • offense
  • stress
  • anxiety
  • rejection
  • lack of confidence
  • depression
  • intra-personal conflict
  • relationship and family conflict
  • low self-esteem
  • recovery from addictions
  • emotional, sexual or physical abuse
  • blocked emotions
  • recurring negative thinking
Transpersonal Counselling is a form of counselling which looks at the whole person.  A transpersonal orientation for therapy is suitable for working with individuals, couples, families, adolescents and children. The process is one of integration of the various parts of the self into a whole, reducing inner clashes and increasing the sense of fullness, meaning and purpose in life. This is a holistic view which treats illness as a natural part of the growth or healing process.  Talking, thinking and meaning-making have a significant place in the counselling journey, just as feeling, direct perception and state-travel do.  A transpersonal counsellor will view life and its myriad experiences as part of the larger process of spiritual development. A transpersonal counsellor continuously attempts to facilitate this growth process through a variety of means, depending on their training and the immediate needs of a client. To a transpersonal counsellor, whatever is happening currently is viewed as a positive opportunity for growth.

The Transpersonal Counsellor is trained and certified in facilitating and guiding others to access specific states for the purposes of healing. Some of the techniques used by transpersonal counsellors suggested by Natural Therapy Pages (ntpages.com.au) include these:
  • Focusing is a very helpful technique in which the counsellor facilitates self-healing by showing the client how to focus on the "felt sense." It advocates freedom and full self-realisation. The client tunes in to their body’s own intelligence and overcomes an issue at its very root.
  • An experienced transpersonal counsellor will work with the client and together they will uncover the significance of dreams, in dream-work
  • The unconscious and symbolic contents of the mind can be unravelled by transpersonal art therapy which goes beyond traditional art therapy
  • Shamanism encompasses the premise that shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds. Shamans are said to treat ailments/ illness by mending the soul. Alleviating traumas affecting the soul/ spirit restores the physical body of the individual to balance and wholeness. A shamanic counselling session facilitates growth and healing.
Transpersonal Counselling therefore represents the re-enchantment of Psychotherapy and Counselling in combination with the highest levels of spiritual, theoretical and clinical perception and skill.

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