What is Psychosynthesis?
Psychosynthesis is a powerful and effective model of holistic personal evolution, where its principles and techniques have been used effectively in a wide range of fields, from education, medicine, politics and business, to all forms of counselling and psychotherapy and personal, business and group coaching.
Psychosynthesis was originally developed by Dr Roberto Assagioli (1888-1974), an Italian psychoanalyst, in the early 20th century. It is a framework that has been applied to psychology, psychotherapy and now life coaching. Its aim is to help us deepen our understanding of our own natures, from a ‘whole person’ perspective, and towards how those discoveries can be effectively used in our daily lives. It is at its core a positive, future-oriented and dynamic framework of personal and collective evolution.
Often referred to as ‘a psychology with soul’, Psychosynthesis includes working with unconscious patterns of conflict and restriction from the past, engaging and restoring balance with the various facets or parts of the personality in the present, and facilitating ways of promoting the expression of peoples’ unique creativity and highest potentials into the future.
Dr Assagioli drew upon many of the world’s spiritual wisdom traditions’ principles and methods, as a framework of manifesting conscious human development and evolution, which included both the personal and transpersonal. As the name implies, the endeavour of Psychosynthesis is a ‘synthesis of the parts’ of the human whole, at the personal, individual level, and in relationships to the larger whole of life. Put simply, Psychosynthesis is a non-dogmatic, open means of facilitating the genuine, and natural tendency in all of us to harmonise (or synthesise) the various facets of our being to more integrated, inclusive levels of thinking, feeling and behaving. It is the journey to become the fullest realisation of ourselves.
Psychosynthesis can perhaps be best explored at the start through its core ‘model’; The Egg Diagram. This is the image that I always refer back to when working with clients. The past, in all its joys and growing pains, is contained within the Lower Unconscious. It is here where the ‘Work within the Work” of a Psychosynthesis Therapist or Life Coach with the Client aims to identify and come to terms with the wounds of the past that may prevent people from fully engaging in the present (and so to realise their future potential). We do this through the Middle Unconscious, where the “I” of the person accesses more readily available unconscious resources in order to effect change in the Lower Unconscious. Expanding and strengthening this field of awareness comes through a number of methods, including guided imagery, dream work, and regular conversation (whether in person or via the Internet); all are processes which lead to an increasing range of creative activities and their results. This presents an opportunity to consciously work with a person’s reservoir of their highest potential; the Higher Unconscious.
What can Psychosynthesis do for me?
The intention of Psychosynthesis work is to bring all parts of a person’s being into more harmonious relationship. Change will occur in the personality bringing results outside in the practical world; that’s where the life coaching comes in. This is done by working for a release from unhelpful or or destructive patterns of belief or behaviour, and opening to a clearer sense of purpose, meaning and direction in life. You may find Psychosynthesis helpful if you are:
- Struggling with asserting your unique identity, beyond the conditioning of the past
- Struggling with feeling that life lacks purpose and meaning
- Struggling with pain and fear that prevents your moving forward in life
- Suffering loss or bereavement
- Experiencing anxiety or depression
- Wanting to explore your spiritual path
So in developing an appreciation of our “depths and heights” (while keeping a steady eye on our goals), we become more and more able to invite the Higher Self, or simply “Self”, into our awareness. This contentless experience of awareness is where we may access our unfolding values (beyond those imprinted upon us from family and society at-large), and their underlying meaning and our purpose in life; what we are each and all to be and do, as the realisation of our most unique, authentic and creative selves.