Transpersonal counselling is a term used in conjunction with a variety of counselling techniques or modalities that have developed out of the transpersonal psychology movement. Transpersonal psychology explores states of consciousness outside of the limits of our personal identity, or ego. There are three basic schools of psychological thought. In order to understand how transpersonal counselling differs from other forms of counselling, it is helpful to have an understanding of the three main disciplines of psychology:
- Behaviourist psychology looks at human behaviour from a mechanistic perspective. By studying a person’s behaviour and the changes in behaviour that occur through outside influences, a behaviourist seeks symptomatic treatments for psychological disorders. Prescribing Prozac for the treatment of depression is an example of this.
- Humanistic psychology arose as a reaction to the strict behaviourist model. Humanistic psychology sees human beings as more than just organisms or mechanisms. A humanistic counsellor works on the assumption that life has inherent meaning and value. While a humanistic psychologist or counsellor may or may not prescribe medication for symptomatic relief, they will delve more deeply and look for psychological causes of disorders.
- Transpersonal psychology includes the spiritual dimensions of life in its attempts to understand and explore consciousness.
What Is a Transpersonal Counsellor?
A transpersonal counsellor takes a holistic approach, viewing life and past life and current life experiences as part of the larger process of spiritual development. To a transpersonal counsellor, whatever is happening to us now is viewed as a positive opportunity for growth. A transpersonal counsellor attempts to facilitate this growth process through a variety of means, depending on their training and the immediate needs of a client.
Some of the techniques used by transpersonal counsellors include these:
- Focusing is a technique in which the counsellor facilitates self-healing by showing the client how to focus on the “felt sense.” When we seek a counsellor, we already “sense” that something is wrong. By helping the client focus on the felt sense, the client tunes in to their body’s own wisdom and intelligence and uncovers and resolves an issue at its source.
- In dreamwork, the client and the transpersonal counsellor work together to uncover the deeper meanings of dreams.
- Transpersonal art therapy goes beyond traditional art therapy to explore the unconscious and symbolic contents of the mind.
- A shamanic counselling session draws on the wisdom of the shamans, the most ancient healers on earth. A shaman works with the spirit world and our subtle, non-physical energies to facilitate growth and healing.
These are just a few of the many techniques a transpersonal counsellor may employ. In essence transpersonal counselling is a genuinely holistic practice concerned with the body, the mind and the spirit. If this type of therapy resonates with you, it may be just what you need at this stage of your journey.
Sessions are available one on one or via Skype