In her ground breaking intuitive inquiry into the psycho-spiritual impact of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) on adult women, transpersonal psychologist Jacqueline Linder (2014) described how CSA can affect a woman’s body, heart, mind, and soul for many years after she experiences the initial trauma. Indeed, survivors of this type of primal wounding frequently experience decades of chronic shame, self-loathing, and contamination of their identity, and may also develop patterns of dissociating from their bodies in order to escape their worst moments of psychological and somatic pain (Linder, 2014).
Within this essay, I argue for the added value of transpersonal psychotherapies that are rooted in spiritual traditions, and I also consider the importance of psychotherapy and counselling for individuals engaging in contemporary spiritual practices outside of spiritual traditions. I draw on examples of transpersonal therapies that are based on practices found especially within Eastern spiritual traditions, which I propose support a balanced approach to whole person development. I base my understanding on the premise that transpersonal psychotherapy aligns with the beliefs of mystical and spiritual traditions, and consists of the common goal of moving towards wholeness or a higher Self.
In this essay I will introduce the skill and practice of open awareness, outlining the phenomenology that is associated with this distinct state and mode of perception. I will describe how it can be used to counteract the serious issues that are associated with its counterpart, tunnel awareness, which is always present in the trigger events that lead to stress, anxiety, performance issues and burnout. The work will also address how open awareness skills can help to resolve the escalating problems that are associated with excessive use of mobile digital media devices, resulting in a generation of digital zombies.
The time could not be better, more auspicious, than right now to pursue an education or career in transpersonal psychology and transpersonal principles. Cultural, academic, scientific and even political shifts are taking place around the world in the areas of spirituality, happiness & well-being, holistic or integrative medicine, consciousness, the merging of science and spirituality and the recent explosive growth of interest into the therapeutic, psychological, spiritual and transformational potential of psychedelics (The Third Wave), are all converging with, or increasing the relevance of, the field of transpersonal psychology.
In order to grasp the nature of consciousness, the scope of exploration needs to include our experience of everyday reality and the material realm, as well as the realm of the unconscious and the dynamic forces that are hidden from—yet fundamental to—consciousness. This essay explores various theories that explain the dynamics between the “outer” world, the “inner” realm and consciousness. This exploration may serve to better understand ourselves and the influences that affect our perception and behaviour. Carl Jung, from a psychoanalytical starting point, and Wolfgang Pauli, from a background in quantum physics, demonstrated the ways in which these seemingly distinct paradigms in fact frame a spectrum of various models of the nature of reality and our understanding of consciousness (Main, 2014).
On November 3, 2018, Dagmar Suissa, MSc presented A Journey of Transformation through Learning at the Beyond the Brain conference in London, UK. Ms Suissa’s research originated from her observation that there was limited research on how transformation occurs through academic online learning. Additionally, as Ms Suissa experienced her own inner transformational process as she went through Alef Trust’s MSc course in consciousness, spirituality and transpersonal psychology, she wondered if her fellow students in the MSc programme were also experiencing a similar transformation.
Modern psychiatry is in a state of crisis. 450 million people around the globe are affected by mental illness (1 in 10 adults). Looking at Europe and the U.S, over 40% of the total burden of disability is related to mental illness, and over 10 million Prozac prescriptions were issued in the first 5 years after its introduction into the pharmaceutical market (Powell, 2007). In 2013 and in England alone, over 53 million prescriptions were issued for antidepressants, a 6% increase on the previous year and a 92% increase since 2003 (Rose, 2016). The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year approximately 800,000 people commit suicide, which represents a global mortality rate of one death every 40 seconds, and it is predicted that by 2020 the rate of death will increase to one every 20 seconds (WHO, 2014).
Alef Trust directors, faculty, staff, and students attended the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP) 50th Anniversary Conference which was held at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California, April 12-14, 2019. The theme of the conference was “The Future of Transpersonal Psychology: Acknowledging the Past, Honoring the Present, and Envisioning the Future.”
This essay will initially suggest a definition for “sacred science” by establishing what may be understood respectively as sacred and science. Then, it will offer a view into what makes science sacred; also, critically evaluating if a modern “sacred science” is feasible, and if there is already evidence to support such idea. It will also discuss some points of view arguing against sacred science, or positing an approach that would narrow, impoverish, or limit the cooperation and creation between spirituality/religion and science.
On November 3, 2018, at the Beyond the Brain conference in London, UK, Chantal le Roux, MSc, MEd, virtually presented ‘The transformative potential of Nia as experienced by six advanced Nia instructors: An interpretive phenomenological analysis’ from her residence in Cape Town, South Africa.