An introduction to transpersonal psychology

It is through Transpersonal Psychology that--in the West--the spiritual facet of life is formally accepted as a legitimate aspect of the psychological realm of humankind. Where Eastern philosophy and religion have focused on spiritual development, and Western psychology has focused on intra- and interpersonal development, Transpersonal Psychology is the embodiment of the meeting ground between East and West: where the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and transpersonal (spiritual) realms merge. This paper goes into some detail as to the value of Transpersonal Psychology for clients and therapists. Some of what Transpersonal Psychology offers to clients is a new image of who and what we are, exploration of altered states of consciousness, spiritual growth and selftranscendence, and new forms of energy. What is to be expected of a transpersonal therapist is that he/she has an intimate awareness, involvement, and high degree of development on intra-, inter-, and transpersonal levels. Many traditional techniques may be employed by a transpersonal therapist, but he/she focuses as much, or even more so, on the quality of the energy/life of the counseling situation. Although a client may need to do intensive work on an intra-, or interpersonal level, various exercises (a few of which are illustrated in this paper) can be used to align transpersonal qualities which can contribute to the work being done. On a group level, individual work is enhanced through a conscious focus on utilizing and maximizing the collective energy of the group. The new direction of Transpersonal Psychology is focused more on spiritual energy than psychological malady; the transpersonal "gold" as opposed to the intrapersonal pathology. The aim is not only for an individual to feel whole and harmonious in respect to oneself and others, but also in respect to the entire cosmos.