What is Transpersonal Counselling?
The word “Trans – personal” can be translated as “beyond personal”, or beyond the ego. It describes a holistic perspective and a way of working which has a larger frame of reference than our personalities, belief systems and thoughts. These apsects are part of us, but are not taken for the whole picture of what a human being is or is capable of.
An important inclusion in the picture of the human being is that we exist in a spectrum of consciousness. That is to say that there is a wide range of possible ways that we can experience ourselves and our realities. Some examples of ways that we commonly experience different states of consciousness are sleep, dreams, thinking, anger, meditation, vigorous exercise and imagination to name but a few. Other less common possibilities include peak experiences of insight, oneness or unity, depression and spiritual emergence or psychosis. The possiblilities are endless.
Each type of consciousness has its own qualities, potentials and resources. By accessing them deliberately and with awareness it is possible to benefit the whole being. There is a science or an art to knowing how to travel between states. Simple examples of tools that we may use to shift our state are reading a book to wind down before bed, drinking coffee to become alert and awake, meditation to calm the mind and physical exercise to get back to the body. The Transpersonal Counsellor is someone who has been trained in facilitating and guiding others to access specific states for the purposes of healing. The counselling tools and techniques used are sourced from modern psychology, traditional spiritual practices and the practitioner’s own experience in life.
An holistic approach
The Transpersonal model places crisis, illness and difficulty in a larger context of growth. Self actualisation, enlightenment, becoming a better person, spirituality, growing awareness – however you want to say it – has a presence in the work. This is a holistic view which treats illness as a natural part of the growth or healing process. We are informed by our troubles and trials, they are not merely symptoms which we need to get rid of.
Transpersonal Counselling is a form of counselling which looks at the entire person. The process is one of integration of the various parts of the self into a whole, reducing inner conflict and increasing the sense of fullness, meaning and purpose in life. Talking, thinking and meaning-making have an important place in the counselling journey, just as feeling, direct perception and state-travel do. Whilst the work moves beyond the personal, it also includes the personal as a valid and meaningful part of the whole…