Transpersonal Psychology

Hello and welcome to the Transpersonal psychology interest group.

This is a unique interest group founded on the principals of health and spirituality. The psycho-spiritual approach to therapy provides a deeper understanding to the human condition; aiding recovery and helping people grow resilient. Spirituality is increasingly accepted as integral to human psychology, vital for physical and mental health. This interest group comes together to discuss the latest research on spiritual development, practical techniques and exercises for managing anxiety, depression, fatigue, anger, addiction and spiritual emergencies and we have an on-line discussion forum where our members can dialogue amongst the Australian leaders of the transpersonal psychology field. We encourage membership to this interest group because spirituality is fundamental to human health. The word ‘spirituality’ being so loaded that we often forget that it can simply mean bringing heart and breath back into our work. Science and cognitive intelligence are strong themes for Western psychology, leaving the spiritual line of intelligence somehow lost within its wake. Themes include emphasis on the importance of presence and mindfulness, interdependence and interconnectedness, the integration of light and dark (trauma), becoming integrally informed and reaching our highest potential.

Transpersonal literally means beyond the personal. This does not mean we exclude pre-personal and personal stages of development, but rather focus on a full spectrum model of development. Body-Mind connection and higher states of consciousness are also a focus within transpersonal psychology. Within this context, spirituality refers to a universal dimension that is both transcendent (ascending masculine) and immanent (descending feminine), with a focus on breath and heart work which have a descending influence over the mind and body.

The spiritual wisdom traditions (Buddhism, Sufism, Kabbalah, Christian, Hinduism) have so much to offer Contemporary Western psychology. In fact without these traditions psychology would not exist. We are standing on the shoulders of giants and our interest group acknowledges the gradual movement toward collective conscious awareness. To re-member these contemplative traditions is equal to the acknowledgment, awareness and respect we give to the past ancestors of this land.



What is Transpersonal Psychology? 

Transpersonal psychology developed from earlier branches of psychology including psychodynamic, behaviorism, humanistic, existential-phenomenological and cognitive. It also incorporates spiritual dimensions of existence in the scientific study of human beings.

Transpersonal literally means beyond the personal, beyond the ego, to include soul consciousness. Mind, spirituality, and higher states of consciousness are a main focus within transpersonal psychology. Within this context, spirituality refers to a universal dimension that is both transcendent and immanent.

Newer fields of psychology, especially transpersonal psychology and ecopsychology, are taking seriously the holistic notion of human beings as comprising mind, body, and soul. These fields propose that people are spiritual beings living a human life that extends beyond our mundane existence and skin-encapsulated ego-self to include direct experience of the environment and the cosmos. They recognise the importance of integrating spiritual with physical and mental reality, that spirituality is but one part of the whole.