was the founder of psychosynthesis
and one of the pioneers of transpersonal psychology.
Assagioli collaborated with both Sigmund Freud
and Carl Jung and worked closely with Abraham Maslow.
Core to psychosynthesis is the understanding that human beings do, at the deepest level of our being, have a sense of our interconnectedness to one another, to the planet and to life. The question "who am I" is an unavoidable one. It is at the heart of the evolutionary process of growth and development The pain, emotional wounding and trauma that we may experience in life creates a sense of being separate and alone in the universe. Not knowing ourselves and our potential causes the most profound suffering in our relationship with self, others and the planet.
In psychosynthesis symptoms which cause pain and suffering carry within them emergent possibilities for growth and development. At the heart of every symptom is a call to trust that we are part of the Great Mystery of life, however this mystery may be understood. We are not ultimately the separate, divided self we may think we are.
In recent years, particularly through the work of the transpersonal researcher Ken Wilber, there has been growing interest in what is becoming known as the integral approach. The integral approach recognises the interconnection of body, mind and spirit within an evolutionary process that we, as human beings, can influence through our consciousness and awareness.
As well as recognising the vital contributions to effective therapy of Freud, Jung and Maslow, the approach to psychosynthesis of Didsbury Therapy Partnership has been deeply influenced both by integral teaching of Sri Aurobindo and by the integral approach of Ken Wilber.
In psychosynthesis therapy, the building of relationship between therapist and client, is the foundation for working to explore what is getting in the way of living more fully and authentically.
The aim of therapy is free up the will to make choice based on values and purpose which are those of the client not those imposed by external authority.
In the process of therapy thoughts, feelings and body sensations which may be difficult or disturbing can be acknowledged and reflected on. This can enable issues from the past, including relationships with parent figures and other authority figures to be faced in a new way, as well as current concerns around home, work, relationships, sexuality, society.
Therapy is also a place were experiences of joy, love and connectedness can be present and the capabilities of a client recognised alongside pain and distress which may at times be overwhelming a client.
Questions of life direction, meaning and purpose (often called existential issues) and of spirituality (often called transpersonal issues), may also be present in therapy. There is space to work with these issues in the therapy room as and when they emerge for a client.
Didsbury Therapy Partnership views each person as a whole being, interconnected at the levels of body, mind, feelings and spirit. I respect the unique life journey of each person. For some people this may be expressed through developing a spiritual path; for others it may be by feeling a deeper sense of meaning and purpose to their lives.
Increasing the potential to make choice is core to how we work.
For further information on psychosynthesis, go to the website of the Psychosynthesis and Education Trust: www.psychosynthesis.edu/
Integral Psychosynthesis puts a particular emphasis on how distress and trauma is located in the body and experienced through body sensations.
I have undergone further training with the Northern School of Body Psychotherapy in body-oriented psychotherapy. This places particular emphasis on how trauma is located in the physical and energetic body.
I have also been trained in a form of energy psychology called Lifespan Integration(LI), developed in the USA by Peggy Pace. Further information on Lifespan Integration is available on the website: www.lifespanintegration.com Lifespan Integration is of particular value in working with deep levels of trauma and distress, and also with very early disturbances around attachment and bonding.
The essence of integral psychosynthesis lies in working with the particular issues each individual client brings in a context that recognises body, mind and spirit and the potential within every person for growth and development.