Assagioli's Theory of Psychosynthesis

The I, the Personal: Building the Bridge

Only the introduction of his inner powers can offset the problems inherent in man's dropping control of the incredible natural pushes at his removal and becoming the victim of his own successes. -Roberto Assagioli


Therapists use Assagioli's theory of psychosynthesis to help clients develop a complete and real id that is totally able to access the true Personal that pervades all levels of the conscious and unconscious brain. Since it is a common assumption that personality constructions form by enough time a child is five years of age, transforming a fragmented consciousness into a complete identity is usually a long and difficult process, especially in cases of severe trauma. This paper seeks to examine this process-in particular, how an individual can create a new mental field that is freed from days gone by and focused toward a hierarchy of worth somewhat than specific affective occasions. The secondary reason for this analysis is to look at which dynamics keep the individual locked into detrimental personality patterns that no more serve them and the alternatives this method (psychosynthesis) offers to prospective clients.

Soul Trauma

More than two thousand years back, Siddhartha Gautama famously declared that 'life is enduring. ' Indeed, hardly any people complete it without suffering some type of stress in their formative years. Quite often, these early traumas result in a breach between the personal personal (I) and the Self. When this interconnection is disrupted, the individual seems a palpable threat to his very lifetime. [1] Whenever a child incurs the wrath of his caretakers, he seems the lack of interconnection more intensely. Because the caretakers are so instrumental to a child's survival, the kid perceives displeasure as an authentic risk that the caretaker will damage him or stop gratifying his needs. The kid then becomes sensitized to external threats. This frustrating sense of any threat is what psychosynthesis theorists refer to as the primal wound that is accountable for the individual's fall from sophistication. Before this wound makes its indelible make upon the heart and soul, the average person has little sense of his own mortality-and the personal home is indistinguishable from the Self applied. Because this fracture is so painful to the psyche, people will generate defence mechanisms to protect the integrity of their being-even if it means splitting themselves into parts. [2] Shutting oneself faraway from the wound is tantamount to amputating a gangrene-infested leg-cutting from the poison in order to preserve the whole, even if this means causing it destruction. Although this shutting off can donate to maladaptive conditions later in life, these defence mechanisms help the average person cope in the present. However, when human relationships begin to are affected or they are not accomplishing personal goals, some people are aware that something is fundamentally incorrect and seek professional help. The difference between psychosynthesis and traditional psychoanalytic remedy is a lessened emphasis on the past with more of a target toward reorienting one's center values; however, prior events aren't completely ignored because it can reveal the essential assumptions regulating the client's life and change them in a more healthy direction.

Repression, Denial, and Splitting

In most people, children comply with the rules and will of these parents, partially because it helps them survive and partially because these structures help them specify themselves as individuals. However, some individuals will hold beliefs or thoughts that they know is not acceptable to their category of source or culture and thus denying that part of themselves or part of the experience to be able to maintain that sense of belongingness. Triggers and symptoms of this break up include: a fundamentally weakened sense of do it yourself, a fragmented consciousness where one's conceptual map has very few cable connections, in a medical setting the therapist can't ever be certain what your client is pondering or feeling, your client believes that he / she is fundamentally a negative person and that no one may love him or her after personal revelation, etc. [3] These attitudes often originate in clients with a earlier history of maltreatment, overlook, or a need to safeguard family by creating a persona that is more to their preference. [4] This system of repression is not without cause, as many people have been wiped out for deviating from social, communal, and familial norms. However, in cultures that place great value on individual joy and finding an objective that is congruent with one's products and skills, this is a responsibility, as the average person must discover the S(s)elf before finding his route. Oddly enough, some theorists believe what lays at the root of the problem is not the experience, however the repression of it. 'Many people evidence the psychological sign of denial, or psychic numbing. If denial has become a social norm, how do we use social norms to assess someone's health or even to placed appropriate goals in remedy?'[5] The Institute of Psychosynthesis stimulates therapists to first build the strength of the ego and discover the personality while steering clear of problems on personal weaknesses, mirroring the client to encourage recognition and connectedness, and perhaps integrate the disowned elements of the client. [6] Another way involves encouraging the client to move to the center of 1 of the sub-personalities and discover something that is good-the reason behind its dysfunction is the non-allowance of the expression-i. e. a higher attaining person needs love but cannot ask for it straight, nor can the critical person ask for the security to be in control. [7] Actually, this approach includes treating the sub-personality as you would a person, because distortions are most often within this realm. 'Compassion can become pity; love can become dependency; humour can become sarcasm; strength can become rigidity. But the converse is also true, for these features can be raised to or changed to their essential dynamics. '[8] Using guided imagery, the therapist can contact each facet of the individual; help bring its most beneficial aspects to the top in order to help in the re-integration process.

The Personal 'I': THE STORYLINE of the 'Self'

Although the framework for transpersonal experience has existed for thousands of years, it is merely within days gone by fifty years so it has become a respectable method of psychotherapy. Both Eastern and Western religious practices support the rediscovery of the Self-the part of the individual that is beyond the personal self even while it includes it. In the West, the Do it yourself (or the Spirit) is the immortal part that is elevated above the dross of each day life. Within the Eastern traditions, the Do it yourself is attempting to reintegrate with the Cosmos by having multiple experiences. Native Americans undergo strenuous purification rituals such as body piercing, time in the sweat lodge, and the Sun Dance to be able to cause a trance talk about and to speak to the soul world. [9] In both religion and psychosynthesis, the Personal is the culmination of someone's experiences and characteristics. Until Assagioli got produce the concept, this process was unutilised by modern psychologists, as the dominating therapeutic procedure was psychoanalysis where therapists and clients will discuss the client's recent and analyse it in order to give the client a greater knowledge of himself. While that is a good destination to begin the journey of self-discovery, it does not take your client to the idea of unification. Traditional psychoanalysis didn't include an understanding of the higher Self, basically the tripartite ego framework and the basic drives that motivate humans. Assagioli makes use of Freud's model as the low and higher unconscious functions correspond with the identification and superego respectively, while the middle unconscious corresponds with Freud's conception of the 'preconscious. '[10] He also borrows from Jung's ideas by including the spiritual realms of the psyche. One practical application therapists may use in their practice is CEIS: Creative Exploration of Inner Space. It really is a twelve-step request of Assagioli's ideas that originated after twenty-seven years of practice. [11] The first step is solitude. Your client creates a 'sacred space' or an inner perspiration lodge to begin his trip inward. Brown argues that this dissociation from the non-public personal information will lead to objectivity about day-to-day activities and concerns. [12] Solitude is inspired because individuals have great difficulty preserving a solid sense of self with pervasive influences including the press or when significant others (friends, family members, mates) have strong personalities and expect the given individual to conform to their notion of what is accurate. Next, the therapist will invite your client to relax for 5 minutes before progressing to another step, which includes profound reflective thinking after a subject for 10 minutes (this is performed on paper). That is followed by receptive thinking, visualization, mandala art work, cognitive examination, and internal dialogue. Following this, the client finds step nine, the symbolic recognition or psychodrama with which the Psychosynthesis School can be involved. 'Clients are instructed to take one step of progress and enter in the image; to be the image literally; also to allow actions or gestures to occur or postures that might help them hook up, identify with, and be the image completely. . . Symbolic identification can result in more expressive uses of the body, to new feelings, and to the introduction of empathy and compassion. '[13] Essentially, after the experience is complete, the client will integrate the experience in their homework, attain closure, and reveal the experience with someone near to them. Brown got great success with this method because the session was infused with a and therefore is specific to your client, instead of categorizing him or her as an obsessive-compulsive, depressive, etc. and drugging the client accordingly.

Crises of Meaning

Perhaps there was less mental confusion before because the ancients experienced rites governing each level of life and people were more aware of what these were likely to do. Today, there are so many selections and incredibly few cultural customs for the life span circuit, especially in industrialised American nations. That's where we take notice of the common crises at birth, adolescence and mid-life. When the individual is born, he leaves a warm environment where his every wish is awarded to a location where he's cold, eager, and independent. [14] The newborn is distressed since it intuitively has learned that separation is dangerous, and even the most attentive parents cannot supply the security the kid is lacking from the womb environment. As the infant grows, the mental health structures like the Superego and Ego begin to gain power, which is in which a child learns how intimate relationships work by observing the parental imagos. When relationships between the parents (as well as the parent-child relationship) are dysfunctional, the child often matures to task these issues onto a romantic partner. In historical society, the starting point of puberty signalled to the group that there was a fresh full participant in the interpersonal order. There is a ceremony where the person would shed his position as a child and become welcomed in to the group as a grown-up. There is no such sensation today because child years is legally prolonged years past biological maturity, which would make the final changeover to adulthood more difficult. At this point, the average person becomes emotionally separated from years as a child and parents to adopt a new id independent of child years set ups. . . this is a time of self-definition. Inside the mid-life crisis, the individual involves face his own mortality and experiences the mental/personality separation. It is now time when people are likely to seek remedy to resolve earlier issues as much are suffering from severe depression out of a feeling of squandering their life and looking toward a future where death looms bigger than safety. In amount, psychosynthesis proposes to unite the many and sundry servings of ourselves to ensure that we might be better outfitted to confront the crises that will in the end affect everyone.


Brown, Michael. 'A Psychosynthesis 12 Step Program for Transforming Consciousness: Creative Explorations of Inner Space, Counselling and Values, Vol. 45, No. 2, (2001), pp. 103-17

Brown, Molly Young. Unfolding Self applied: The Practice of Psychosynthesis, New York: Allworth Press, 2004

Evans, Joan. Institute of Psychosynthesis Manual. (1990)

Firman, John & Ann Gila. The Primal Wound: A Transpersonal View of Stress, Addiction, and Growth, New York: SUNY Press, 1997

Grof, Stanislav. Beyond the Brain: Birth, Loss of life, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. New York: SUNY Press, 1985

Whitmore, Diana. Psychosynthesis Counselling doing his thing. London: SAGE Publications, 2004


[1] John Firman & Ann Gila. The Primal Wound: A Transpersonal View of Stress, Addiction, and Expansion, (NY: SUNY Press, 1997) 89

[2] Firman and Gila, 90

[3] Joan Evans. Institute of Psychosynthesis Manual, 1990, 64

[4]Evans, 65

[5] Molly Young Dark brown. Unfolding Personal: The Practice of Psychosynthesis, (NY: Allworth Press, 2004) 10

[6] Evans, 65

[7] Diana Whitmore. Psychosynthesis Counselling in Action. (London: SAGE Publications, 2004) 93

[8] Ibid.

[9]Michael Brown. 'A Psychosynthesis Twelve Step Program for Transforming Awareness: Creative Explorations of Inner Space, Counselling and Ideals, Vol. 45, No. 2, (2001) 103

[10] Stanislav Grof. Beyond the Brain: Birth, Fatality, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. (NY: SUNY Press, 1985) 193

[11] Michael Brown. 'A Psychosynthesis Twelve Step Program for Transforming Consciousness: Creative Explorations of Inner Space, Counselling and Prices, Vol. 45, No. 2, (2001) 113

[12] Brown, 114

[13] Dark brown, 115

[14] Evans, 210

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