On the 2nd November a group of thirty Alef Trust students, alumni and faculty including directors Les Lancaster and Jessica Bockler transmuted from the digital realm of our online community to meet in London for a workshop day.
Beyond the Brain is the world’s premier conference series exploring new research on whether and how consciousness and mind extend beyond the physical brain and body. This year’s event covers the power of intention, transpersonal psychology, consciousness in relation to the brain and the universe, lucid dreaming and out-of-body experiences.
The aim of this paper is to consider to what extent a transpersonal orientation is necessary in therapy for conscious development. Consideration will first be given to definitions of ‘transpersonal orientation’ and ‘conscious development’, followed by arguments for and against traditional behaviourist, psychodynamic and transpersonal approaches with a view to address the assignment question. Before concluding, consideration will also be given to the importance of scientific world view and how it impacts the term ‘conscious development’.
In our increasingly complex and interconnected world, a growing global community of transpersonal activists feels that access to practices and therapies which support transpersonal states should be recognized as a basic human right. The term “transpersonal” may not be familiar to everyone (yet) but what it means is something pretty simple and familiar to most. “Trans” means “through” or “beyond” and so transpersonal implies experiencing and understanding life, the world and cosmos through or beyond the limits of personal identity or self, or, beyond the ego.
For 25 years Dr Olga Louchakova-Schwartz taught at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. She started at ITP in 1992, as adjunct research professor, and worked her way up to being Founding Director of Transpersonal Education and Research Specialization (2004-2014), of the World Wide Learning Exchange Program (2007 -2013), and of the pioneering Neurophenomenology Centre, the first of its kind (2007 – 2015). She is now Professor Emerita of Psychology and Comparative Religion. Dr Louchakova-Schwartz has authored more than 150 papers and book chapters in various areas of neuroscience, philosophy, and transpersonal psychology.
The practice of Life Coaching arose out of athletic coaching in sports and is broadly defined as a collaborative process of helping someone improve performance or satisfaction in some aspect of their lives. In contrast with psychological counselling or therapy which is often focused on pathology rooted in past experiences or flawed thinking processes (cognition), Life Coaching is focused more on the hear and now by working towards improving the present as well providing guidance and tools for achieving future goals in a client’s professional, relationship, creative or even spiritual aspects of life. Although distinct from the field of counselling psychology or psychiatry, Life Coaching is still fundamentally grounded in models and approaches from psychology and so the evolution of Life Coaching is closely tied to the evolution of the science’s behind human psychology and flourishing.
Following Alef Trust’s participation in the 2017 International Transpersonal Conference in Prague, we are excited to offer 3 NEW Open Learning Courses which begin December 2017 (please enrol by October 31st, 2017 to ensure your seat). These new courses are being offered by conference presenters David Lukoff, Paul Grof/Mary Pearson & Etzel Cardeña who will be exploring cutting edge topics in transpersonal psychology:
The fourth Alef Trust residential retreat from the 26th – 30th August 2017 was attended by alumni, students and faculty of the Master’s in Professional Development: Consciousness, Spirituality and Transpersonal Psychology, who ventured to explore the theme of “New paradigms in psychology and spiritual practice”.
We at the Alef Trust would like to congratulation Rosemarie Anderson on her wonderful achievement in being awarded the Abraham Maslow Heritage Award! Rosemarie’s work in opening significant new methodological approaches has benefited not only those wishing to research transpersonal phenomena but also many in other branches of psychology. She has generously provided profound guidance to our students in their journeys into research in transpersonal psychology.
Some people define “spirituality” as going to church and believing in a monotheistic God. Others may define spirituality along the lines of one of the Eastern non-theistic traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism or Hinduism. Others still, may define spirituality simply as becoming a better person, quiet reflection, meditating or going for a walk in the woods. However you define “spirituality”, the vast majority of people in the world either believe there is something more which goes beyond our immediate experience of the world, or at the very least are seeking some way to grow as a person and to become the “best”, and the happiest, they can become in their careers, hobbies or relationships. Studies have also shown that higher levels or spirituality or religiosity are strongly associated with a greater sense of meaning in life as well as higher levels of psychological and emotional well-being. In other words, people who hold a belief in some form of “higher power”, something “bigger” than who and what we are, whether defined as “God”, “Energy”, “Source”, “Collective Consciousness” or “Spirit”, tend to be happier, healthier and even live longer.