“Psychosynthesis is a method of psychological development and self-realization for those who refuse to remain the slaves of their own inner phantasm or of external influences, who refuse to submit passively to the play of psychological forces which is going on within them, and who are determined to become the master of their own lives.”
Psychosynthesis dates back to 1911, as an inclusive approach to human growth. It was pioneered by an Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli. He describes it as natural process of evolution, because all living organisms contain, within them, a drive to evolve.
Psychosynthesis is a journey of self-growth, bringing together mind, body, spirit, emotions, desire, and intuition into a whole (synthesis) toward the realization of one’s potential by cultivating self-awareness and will. It is a gift you offer to yourself that builds upon your unique individual needs, values, purpose and goals.
Psychosynthesis assumes a Self in each person functioning as a center of awareness and will. It is through accessing awareness and engaging Will that growth and transformation are possible.
It is the first psychological approach that does not focus on illness, but on the health, qualities and potential of individuals to cultivate wellbeing and one’s fundamental needs for harmony and a life of purpose.
This discipline recognizes that we all have a self beyond our trait of personality, circumstances, and stories, which limit us. We need to identify this center of pure awareness and will. Being able to manifest this essence is the individual purpose in life.
It is a discipline in constant evolution. Each year new discoveries in psychology, new developments in education, religion, anthropology, physics and other disciplines add to the principles and to the techniques of Psychosynthesis. Psychosynthesis, by its very nature, is always open to new approaches to human development.
Over the past sixty years, a number of conceptual points and a number of methods have proven themselves to be fundamental. These provide a working structure for Psychosynthesis.
Methods of Psychosynthesis
Any method that assists in the personal evolution of a human being is a method useful in psychosynthesis. To be maximally effective, we need to have a broad range of methods and techniques to meet the needs presented by different situations and people.
The specific methods will vary in accordance to each person’s existential situation, psychological type, goals, desires and path of development.
Some of the most used methods are:
- Clinical meditation and imagery
- Evaluation of fundamental needs values to redefine life purpose
- Identifying internal and external allies and obstacles
- Aligning the will and intention to deep purpose
- A wide range of exercises to elicit creativity
- Gestalt techniques
- Journal keeping
- Intuition development
The emphasis is on fostering an on-going process of growth that can gain momentum and bring a more joyful and balanced actualization to our lives.
As this process goes on, we gain the freedom of choice, the power of decision over our actions, and the ability to regulate and direct many of the personality functions. This entails developing the personal will. Through this development we free ourselves from helpless or preprogrammed reactions to inner impulses and external situations and expectations. We become truly centered and gradually follow our own path, guided by our inner knowing: our true Self.
As we reach toward the transpersonal Self, we can liberate and encourage the synthesizing energies that organize and integrate our personality. We can make ever-increasing contact with the Will of our transpersonal Self, which provides clearer meaning and purpose in our personal lives and our social tasks. We become able to function in the world more serenely and effectively, in a spirit of cooperation and good will.
East meets West
Psychosynthesis is a synthesis of many traditions from East and West.
The spiritual side of Eastern disciplines comes together with the personal-level focus of Western approaches. Psychosynthesis see’s the human being as a whole and gives equal importance to every aspect of the Self.
Psychosynthesis recognizes that we have a transpersonal essence, and that the individual’s purpose in life is to manifest this essence, or Self, as fully as possible.
The two stages in psychosynthesis: Individual and transpersonal
The overall process of psychosynthesis can be divided into two stages: personal and transpersonal.
It turns around the personal self. The way that the personality is integrated in this stage is by achieving a high level of functioning in terms of work, relationships, and general living that is meaningful and satisfactory to the individual.
The goal is to connect and align with the transpersonal Self, manifesting qualities of responsibility, the spirit of cooperation, global perspective, love and purpose, and having access to inner guidance and wisdom.
Often the two stages overlap. There can be a considerable amount of transpersonal activity long before the stage of personal integration is complete.
The Call of the Self
It is a phrase coined in psychosynthesis and it is the center point of work. It is the assumption that each individual has the capacity to tune in, deeply, to a sense of life purpose.
In the same sense, families, groups, businesses and cultures have the potential for responding to what is truly important, building slowly but surely towards a healthier world.