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Psychosynthesis - a psychology with a soul

Stop or resume the background music.
(
The Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080 Contrapunctus I, Bach)

A model for the psychologically healthy human being

Psychosynthesis is not per se a form of therapy, but rather a basic thought model describing what it is to be a human being. The basic model and the theory was developed in the beginning of the twentieth century by the Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974). The psychosynthesis institute he created in Florence is still the main institute. More than fifty other psychosynthesis institutes have since then been established, in almost all continents of the world.

Assagioli Psychosynthesis has since Assagioli´s days developed extensively and is nowadays utilized in a large number of areas like psychotherapy, education, organizational development, leadership training.

One of the foundation-stones in Psychosynthesis is that we in our basic existence are spiritual beings. Personal development and spiritual development are seen as different aspects of an underlying existential development. Psychosynthesis is in itself although not coupled to any specific religion, even if individual therapists of course can have a personal religious creed.

Periods of crisis occur i everyone's life

To live is both to meet what we need and to meet resistance. Both of these make us grow. Sometimes what is resisting us can feel so heavy, that we end up in a personal crisis. If one takes this crisis seriously, one grows.

Most of us meet these periods of resistance in all phases of our lives. Whether we call these periods crisis or not depends on our attitude, but the characteristics of these periods often follow a general pattern, that can be illustrated by the following picture:

The Life Wheel

(Click on the image for larger picture.)

The text inside the brackets describe the risks there are for serious consequences in connection within the different crisis periods. These risks are larger, the less one takes the crisis seriously, or the less oneself or people around understand it. The risks can although be completely eliminated with good self-knowledge and/or with help of personal support, coaching or therapy.

Definition of the age periods (according to old Ayurvedic tradition):

0 - 12 ___Childhood

13 - 19 __Adolescence

20 - 39 __Young Adult

40 - 59 __Younger Middle Age

60 - 89 __Middle Age

90 -_____Old Age

Different types of crisis require different therapy forms

In this description there is a focus on Psychosynthesis. This does not mean that Psycho-synthesis is better or more superior other support and therapy forms. Referring to the "Life Wheel" above, different therapy forms are differently well suited for the task, depending on where in life one is and which type of crisis one has come into. The following picture illustrates this:

Therapy Levels

(The picture comes from the book No Boundary by Ken Wilber.
Click on the image for larger picture. )

Work methods

At PsykosyntesForum we work on all these levels, with some of the therapy forms shown in the picture: counseling, personal support, Transactional Analysis, Reality Therapy, Gestalt Therapy and Humanistic Psychology, and of course, Psychosynthesis. We also work with cognitive methods, NLP and Cognitive Script Therapy (CST). Other, not traditionally therapeutic, methods are also used, like meditation, affirmation, prayer.

One method from Psychosynthesis that specifically can be mentioned is visualization. A number of generalized Psychosynthesis Visualizations are gathered in this site, and you can listen to and/or purchase and download them. (Click on the link to go there.)

Subpersonalities

An important concept in Psychosynthesis is Subpersonalities (SP). This term denotes the more or less sharply marked off, and more or less conscious, parts of our total personality. Our "basic personality" consists usually of five or six SP, that we normally quite easily can become aware of. Others can be completely inaccessible, but affect us subconsciously anyway. SP have in general different basic needs, different inner drives, can have different basic values and even different ways of perceiving the world. Inner conflicts can with this model of the psyche be regarded as conflicts between different SPs. The word psychosynthesis in itself is meant to describe one of the central inner development processes for SP work, that Psycho synthesis aims to promote, a process that consists of the steps Acceptance, Co-operation, Alignment, Integration and finally Synthesis.

The three levels of the subconscious

Assagiolis egg The picture on the start page is sometimes called "Assagioli's egg". He made this as a model of the human psyche. It shows the three levels of consciousness: the body level (instincts and drives), the everyday level (work, relations, analytical thinking) and the higher (ideals, dreams, creativity). The majority of our psyche is subconscious, we are in each moment conscious only of a small part.

The point of light in the middle symbolizes our central I, which is not a Subpersonality in itself, it can rather function as a central conductor (if we train to become conscious of it).
The star at the top symbolizes our higher I, the Self.

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