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Encyclopedia > Transpersonal psychology
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Transpersonal Psychology (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhē, spirit, soul; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is both an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... Image File history File links Psi2. ... The history of psychology as a scholarly study of the mind and behavior dates, in Europe, back to the Late Middle Ages. ... Experimental psychology is an approach to psychology that treats it as one of the natural sciences, and therefore assumes that it is susceptible to the experimental method. ... Abnormal psychology is the scientific study of abnormal behavior in order to describe, predict, explain, and change abnormal patterns of functioning. ... Biological psychology, sometimes referred to as psychobiology or biopsychology, is a subfield of psychology. ... Cognitive Psychology is the school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Emotional redirects here. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Legal psychology involves the application of empirical psychological research to legal institutions and people who come into contact with the law. ... Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology and neurology that aims to understand how the structure and function of the brain relate to specific psychological processes. ... Personality psychology is a branch of psychology which studies personality and individual differences. ... Positive psychology is a relatively young branch of psychology that studies the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. ... Social psychology is the scientific study of how peoples thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others (Allport, 1985). ...

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Sport The basic premise of applied psychology is the use of psychological principles and theories to overcome practical problems in other fields, such as business management, product design, ergonomics, nutrition, law and clinical medicine. ... The Greek letter Psi is often used as a symbol of psychology. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

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Therapies This is a list of important publications in psychology, organized by field. ... link title Headline text --Cknuth7 16:35, 3 April 2006 (UTC) This page aims to list articles related to psychology. ... This is an alphabetical List of Psychotherapies. ...

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Transpersonal psychology is a school of psychology that studies the transpersonal, the transcendent or spiritual aspects of the human mind. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology describes transpersonal psychology as "the study of humanity’s highest potential, and with the recognition, understanding, and realization of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness" (Lajoie and Shapiro, 1992:91). Issues considered in transpersonal psychology include spiritual self-development, peak experiences, mystical experiences and other metaphysical experiences of living. Psychology (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhÄ“, spirit, soul; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is both an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... The term Transpersonal is often used to refer to psychological categories that transcend the normal features of ordinary ego-functioning. ... In philosophy, transcendental/transcendence, has three different but related primary meanings, all of them derived from the words literal meaning (from Latin), of climbing or going beyond: one that originated in Ancient philosophy, one in Medieval philosophy and one in modern philosophy. ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... Peak experience is a term used to describe certain extra-personal and ecstatic states, particularly ones tinged with themes of unification, harmonization and interconnectedness. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ...


Transpersonal psychologists see the school as a companion to other schools of psychology that include psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and humanistic psychology. Transpersonal psychology attempts to unify modern psychology theory with frameworks from different forms of mysticism. These vary greatly depending on the origin but include religious conversion, altered states of consciousness, trance and other spiritual practices. Although Carl Jung and others have explored aspects of the spiritual and transpersonal in their work, transpersonal psychology for the most part has been overlooked by psychologists who are focused on the personal and developmental aspects of the human psyche (Cowley & Derezotes, 1994; Miller, 1998). Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the work of Sigmund Freud. ... Behaviorism (also called learning perspective) is a philosophy of psychology based on the proposition that all things which organisms do—including acting, thinking and feeling—can and should be regarded as behaviors. ... Humanistic psychology is a school of psychology that emerged in the 1950s in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis. ... Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religious identity, or a change from one religious identity to another. ... The phrase altered state of consciousness was coined in the 1970s and describes induced changes in ones mental state, almost always temporary. ... Trance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ... Carl Jungs partially autobiographical work Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Fontana edition Carl Gustav Jung (IPA: ) (July 26, 1875, Kesswil – June 6, 1961, Küsnacht) was a Swiss psychiatrist, influential thinker, and founder of analytical psychology. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ...

Contents

Definitions of Transpersonal Psychology

Lajoie and Shapiro (1992) reviewed forty definitions of transpersonal psychology that had appeared in literature over the period 1969 to 1991. They found that five key themes in particular featured prominently in these definitions: states of consciousness, higher or ultimate potential, beyond the ego or personal self, transcendence and the spiritual. Walsh and Vaughan (1993) have criticised many definitions of transpersonal psychology, for carrying implicit ontological or methodological assumptions. They also challenge definitions that link transpersonal psychology to healthy states only, or to the Perennial Philosophy. These authors define transpersonal psychology as being the branch of psychology that is concerned with transpersonal experiences and related phenomena, noting that "These phenomena include the causes, effects and correlates of transpersonal experiences, as well as the disciplines and practices inspired by them" (Walsh & Vaughan, 1993, p203). An altered state of consciousness is any state which is significantly different from a normative waking beta wave state. ... The term Higher Self concerns an aspect of multiple belief systems. ... The Perennial Philosophy (Latin philosophia perennis) is the idea that a universal set of truths common to all people and cultures exists. ...


The development of the field

Among the thinkers who are considered to have set the stage for transpersonal studies are William James, Sigmund Freud, Otto Rank, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow, and Roberto Assagioli (Cowley & Derezotes, 1994; Miller, 1998; Davis, 2003). Research by Vich (1988) suggests that earliest usage of the term "transpersonal" can be found in lecture notes which William James had prepared for a semester at Harvard University in 1905-6. A major motivating factor behind the initiative to establish this school of psychology was Abraham Maslow's already published work regarding human peak experiences. Maslow's work grew out of the humanistic movement of the 1960's, and gradually the term "transpersonal" was associated with a distinct school of psychology within the humanistic movement. For other people named William James see William James (disambiguation) William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher. ... Sigmund Freud (IPA: ), born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939), was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who co-founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. ... Otto Rank (April 22, 1884 – October 31, 1939) was an Austrian psychologist. ... Carl Jungs partially autobiographical work Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Fontana edition Carl Gustav Jung (IPA: ) (July 26, 1875, Kesswil – June 6, 1961, Küsnacht) was a Swiss psychiatrist, influential thinker, and founder of analytical psychology. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Roberto Assagioli (Venice,February 27, 1888 - Capolona dArezzo, August 23, 1974) was an influential Italian psychiatrist who was the founder of the psychological movement known as Psychosynthesis. ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Ivy League. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


In 1969, Abraham Maslow, Stanislav Grof and Anthony Sutich were the initiators behind the publication of the first issue of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, the leading academic journal in the field. This was soon to be followed by the founding of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology (ATP) in 1972. Past presidents of the association include Alyce Green, James Fadiman, Frances Vaughan, Arthur Hastings, Daniel Goleman, Robert Frager, Ronald Jue, Jeanne Achterberg and Dwight Judy. In the 1980s and 90s the field developed through the works of such authors as Jean Houston, Stanislav Grof, Ken Wilber, Michael Washburn, Frances Vaughan, Roger Walsh, Stanley Krippner, Michael Murphy, Charles Tart, David Lukoff, Vasily Nalimov and Stuart Sovatsky. While Wilber has been considered an influential writer and theoretician in the field, he has since personally dissociated himself from the movement in favor of what he calls an integral approach. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Stanislav Grof (born 1931 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology and a pioneering researcher into the use of altered states of consciousness for purposes of healing, growth, and insight. ... Captain Arthur Hastings, OBE, is a fictional character, the partner and best friend of Agatha Christies Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. ... Daniel Goleman (born March 7, 1946) is an internationally renouned author, psychologist, science journalist and corporate consultant. ... Robert Frager, Ph. ... Jean Houston, Ph. ... Stanislav Grof (born 1931 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology and a pioneering researcher into the use of altered states of consciousness for purposes of healing, growth, and insight. ... Ken Wilber Kenneth Earl Wilber Jr. ... Roger Walsh (MD) is a professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, within UCIs College of Medicine. ... Stanley Krippner is a professor of psychology at Saybrook Graduate School in San Francisco. ... Michael Murphy is the co-founder of the Esalen Institute, a key figure in the Human Potential Movement and author of both fiction and non-fiction books on topics related to extraordinary human potential. ... Charles Tart (1937- ) Charles T. Tart, Ph. ... Vasily Nalimov (Василий Васильевич Налимов), born 1910 and died 1997, was a Russian philosopher and humanist. ... This article is about integral theory in philosophy and psychology. ...


Today transpersonal psychology also includes approaches to health, social sciences and practical arts. Transpersonal perspectives are also being applied to such diverse fields as psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, sociology, pharmacology, cross-cultural studies (Scotton, Chinen and Battista, 1996; Davis, 2003) and social work (Cowley & Derezotes, 1994). Currently, transpersonal psychology, especially the schools of Jungian and Archetypal psychology, is integrated, at least to some extent, into many psychology departments in American and European Universities. Transpersonal therapies are also included in many therapeutic practices. The social sciences are a group of academic disciplines that study human aspects of the world. ... Psychology (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhē, spirit, soul; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is both an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... Psychiatry is a branch of medicine dealing with the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of the mind and mental illness. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the comparative study of the physical and social characteristics of humanity through the examination of historical and present geographical distribution, cultural history, acculturation, and cultural relationships. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Pharmacology (in Greek: pharmakos (φάρμακον) meaning drug, and logos (λόγος) meaning science) is the study of how substances interact with living organisms to produce a change in function. ... Professional social workers are concerned with social problems, their causes, their solutions and their human impacts. ... Jungian psychology refers to a school of psychology originating in the ideas of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and advanced by many other thinkers who followed in his tradition. ... Archetypal psychology was developed by James Hillman in the second half of the 20th century. ...


Institutions of higher learning that have adopted insights from transpersonal psychology include The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (US), California Institute of Integral Studies (US), John F. Kennedy University (US), Burlington College (US), Liverpool John Moores University (UK), the University of Northampton (UK), and Naropa University (Colorado). There is also a strong connection between the transpersonal and the humanistic perspective. This is not surprising since transpersonal psychology started off within humanistic psychology (Aanstoos, Serlin & Greening, 2000). The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology is a private, non-sectarian graduate school accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. ... The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) is a private graduate school founded in 1968 and based in San Francisco, California with two main schools—the School of Professional Psychology and the School of Consciousness and Transformation. ... John F. Kennedy University is a private university located in Pleasant Hill, California, and an annex located in an office park in Berkeley in the San Francisco Bay Area. ... Burlington College is a private liberal arts college located in Burlington, Vermont. ... Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) is a university in Liverpool, England. ... This article is about The University of Northampton in the present day; for the University in existence from 1261 to 1265, see University of Northampton (thirteenth century). ... Naropa University is a private, liberal arts university in Boulder, Colorado, which was founded in 1974 by Chögyam Trungpa. ... Humanistic psychology is a school of psychology that emerged in the 1950s in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis. ...


By common consent, the following branches are considered to be transpersonal psychological schools: Jungian psychology, depth psychology (more recently rephrased as the Archetypal psychology of James Hillman), the spiritual psychology of Robert Sardello, (2001), psychosynthesis founded by Roberto Assagioli, and the theories of Abraham Maslow, Stanislav Grof, Ken Wilber, Michael Washburn and Charles Tart. Jungian psychology refers to a school of psychology originating in the ideas of Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and advanced by many other thinkers who followed in his tradition. ... Depth psychology is a broad term that refers to any psychological approach examining the depth (the hidden or deeper parts) of human experience. ... Archetypal psychology was developed by James Hillman in the second half of the 20th century. ... James Hillman is a highly original American Jungian psychology writer and founder of Archetypal Psychology. ... Psychosynthesis is a form of transpersonal psychology which insists on integration, or synthesis of various psychological functions in order to achieve the goal of healthy individual. ... Roberto Assagioli (Venice,February 27, 1888 - Capolona dArezzo, August 23, 1974) was an influential Italian psychiatrist who was the founder of the psychological movement known as Psychosynthesis. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Stanislav Grof (born 1931 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology and a pioneering researcher into the use of altered states of consciousness for purposes of healing, growth, and insight. ... Ken Wilber Kenneth Earl Wilber Jr. ... Charles Tart (1937- ) Charles T. Tart, Ph. ...


Transpersonal psychology is sometimes confused with parapsychology, a mistake made due to the overlapping and unconventional research interests of both fields; parapsychology would however tend to focus more in its subject matter on the "psychic" and transpersonal psychology the "spiritual" (relatively crude though these categorizations are, it is still a useful distinction in this context). While parapsychology leans more towards traditional scientific epistemology (laboratory experiments, statistics, research on cognitive states), transpersonal psychology tends to be more closely related to the epistemology of the humanities and the hermeneutic disciplines (humanism, existentialism, phenomenology, anthropology), although it has always included contributions involving experimental and statistical research. Parapsychology is the study of evidence for paranormal psychological phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis (Parapsychology, n. ... It has been suggested that Meta-epistemology be merged into this article or section. ... The humanities are those academic disciplines which study the human condition using methods that are largely analytic, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural and social sciences. ... Hermeneutics (Hermeneutic means interpretive), is a branch of philosophy concerned with human understanding and the interpretation of texts. ... Existentialism is a philosophical movement which claims that individual human beings create the meanings of their own lives. ... This article is about the philosophical movement. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the comparative study of the physical and social characteristics of humanity through the examination of historical and present geographical distribution, cultural history, acculturation, and cultural relationships. ...


Transpersonal psychology is also sometimes confused with the New Age. Although the transpersonal perspective grew out of the human potential movement, a movement that many commentators associate with a broad conception of the New Age, it is still problematic to place transpersonal psychology within such a framework. Transpersonal psychology is an academic discipline, not a religious or spiritual movement, and many of the field's leading authors, among those Sovatsky (1998) and Rowan (1993), have addressed problematic aspects of New Age hermeneutics. Associations between transpersonal psychology and the New Age have probably contributed to the failures in the United States of America to get transpersonal psychology more formally recognised within the professional body, the American Psychological Association (APA). A significant breakthrough in this context was the successful establishment of a Transpersonal Psychology Section within the British Psychological Society (the UK professional body equivalent to the APA) in 1996, co-founded by David Fontana, Ingrid Slack and Martin Treacy, "the first Section of its kind in a Western scientific society" according to Fontana (Fontana et. al, 2005, p.5). New Age describes a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Hermeneutics may be described as the development and study of theories of the interpretation and understanding of texts. ... The American Psychological Association (APA) is a professional organization representing psychology in the US. It has around 150,000 members and an annual budget of around $70m. ... The British Psychological Society (BPS) is the representative body for psychologists and psychology in the United Kingdom. ...


Research interests

The transpersonal perspective spans many research interests. The following list is adapted from Scotton, Chinen and Battista (1996) and includes:

Hinduism (known as in modern Indian languages) is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. ... Statue of Shiva performing Yogic meditation Yoga (Devanagari: योग) is a group of ancient spiritual practices originating in India. ... This article needs additional references or sources to facilitate its verification. ... A shaman doctor of Kyzyl. ... This article is about traditional Jewish Kabbalah. ... Sufism is a mystic tradition within Islam and encompasses a diverse range of beliefs and practices dedicated to divine love and the cultivation of the heart. ... Mysticism is the philosophy and practice of a direct experience of God. ... An independent origin and development of writing is counted among the many achievements and innovations of pre-Columbian American cultures. ... A large statue in Bangalore depicting Shiva meditating Meditation describes a state of concentrated attention on some object of thought or awareness. ... Parapsychology is the study of evidence for paranormal psychological phenomena such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis (Parapsychology, n. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the comparative study of the physical and social characteristics of humanity through the examination of historical and present geographical distribution, cultural history, acculturation, and cultural relationships. ... This article does not discuss cult in its original sense of religious practice; for that usage see Cult (religious practice). ... Psychotherapy is an interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living. ... Breathwork usually refers to deliberate hyperventilation, when used within psychotherapy or meditation. ... A near-death experience (NDE) is the perception reported by a person who nearly died or who was clinically dead and revived. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

Contributions to the academic field

Although all models of human development are understood to be intellectual abstractions of reality, transpersonal psychology has made significant contributions to the understanding of human development and consciousness. One of the demarcations in transpersonal theory is between authors who present a fairly linear and hierarchical model of human development, such as Ken Wilber, and authors who present pluralistic or non-linear models of human development, such as Michael Washburn and Ralph Metzner. Dr. Ralph Metzner Ph. ...


Wilber's primary contribution to the field is the theory of a spectrum of consciousness consisting of three broad categories: the prepersonal or pre-egoic, the personal or egoic, and the transpersonal or trans-egoic (Miller, 1998). A more detailed version of this spectrum theory includes nine different levels of development, in which levels 1-3 are pre-personal levels, levels 4-6 are personal levels and levels 7-9 are transpersonal levels (Cowley & Derezotes, 1994).


Wilber has portrayed the development of consciousness as a hierarchical ladderlike conceptual model, with higher levels superior to lower levels, and consciousness progressing from lower levels to higher levels. Each new level integrates the preceding level while demonstrating new properties associated only with the higher level (Kasprow & Scotton, 1999). Each level is also understood to include a particular type of personality structure, and a possible vulnerability to certain pathologies belonging to that particular level (Cowley & Derezotes, 1994). Building upon the work of Wilber, transpersonal psychologists have also made arguments in favor of a possible differentiation between pre-rational psychiatric problems and authentic transpersonal problems. The confusion of these two categories is said to lead to what transpersonal theory calls a "pre/trans fallacy", the mistaking of transpersonal states for pre-rational states (Cowley & Derezotes, 1994; Lukoff et.al, 1998). Ken Wilber posits that psychological development moves from the pre-personal, through the personal levels of development, to the transpersonal - this latter developmental milieu supposedly being the arena of the spiritually advanced and enlightened individuals. ...


In contrast to Wilber, Ralph Metzner and Michael Wasburn present models of human development that are not hierarchical or linear. Metzner opts for a model that is pluralistic, and rejects the idea of linear development. Washburn presents a model that is inspired by Jungian and psychoanalytic thinking, and which might be characterized as a spiral. According to Washburn the person emerges from the preconscious depths of the psyche. Later on, in the first half of life, development reaches the stage of normal egoic functioning. In the second half of life, if development goes well, the person might get the opportunity to return to, and reintegrate, the primordial depths of the psyche. Within the frames of Washburn's theory this reintegration might be said to take place at a higher, trans-egoic, level (Kasprow & Scotton, 1999).


Transpersonal Psychology has also brought clinical attention to a number of psychoreligious and psychospiritual problems. Cowley & Derezotes (1994) note that transpersonal theory has an understanding of spirituality that is integral to human nature and an essential aspect of being. This understanding is somewhat different from the popular understanding of spirituality as a statement of belief, or as a measure of church attendance; features that could rather be seen as indications of the psychoreligious dimension. Psychoreligious problems have to do with possible psychological conflict resulting from a person's involvement with the beliefs and practices of an organized religious institution. Among these problems are experiences related to changing denomination or conversion, intensification of religious belief or practice, loss of faith, and joining or leaving a new religious movement or cult. A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith, or an ethical, spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that isnt part of an established denomination, church, or religious body. ... This article does not discuss cult in its original sense of religious practice; for that usage see Cult (religious practice). ...


Psychospiritual problems are experiences of a different category than religious problems. These problems have to do with a person's relationship to existential issues, or issues that transcend ordinary day-to-day reality. Many of these psychological difficulties are not ordinarily discussed by mainstream psychology. Among these problems are psychiatric complications related to loss of faith, near-death experience, mystical experience, Kundalini opening, Shamanistic Initiatory Crisis (also called shamanic illness), psychic opening, past lives, possession states, meditation-related problems, and separation from a spiritual teacher. Complications that are considered to present problems of a combined religious and spiritual nature are issues related to serious illness and terminal illness (Lukoff et.al, 1998). Some meditation-related problems, for example, might have to do with the fact that the incorporation of Eastern contemplative systems into a Western setting has not always been sensitive to the socio-cultural context from which these systems originated (Turner et.al, 1995; Lukoff et.al, 1998), a detail that might leave Western practitioners with considerable hermeneutic (interpretive or explanatory) challenges. Ascent in the Empyrean (Hieronymus Bosch) A near-death experience (NDE) is an experience reported by a person who nearly died, or who experienced clinical death and then revived. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Kundalini ( ) is a Sanskrit word meaning either coiled up or coiling like a snake. ... A shaman doctor of Kyzyl. ... A shaman doctor of Kyzyl. ... A large statue in Bangalore depicting Shiva meditating Meditation describes a state of concentrated attention on some object of thought or awareness. ... Hermeneutics (Hermeneutic means interpretive), is a branch of philosophy concerned with human understanding and the interpretation of texts. ...


The term "Spiritual Emergence" was coined by Stanislav and Christina Grof (1989) in order to describe a gradual unfoldment and appearance of psycho-spiritial categories in a persons life. In cases where this spiritual unfoldment is intensified beyond the control of the individual it might lead to a state of "Spiritual Emergency". A Spiritual Emergency might cause significant disruptions in psychological, social and occupational functioning, and many of the psychospiritual problems described above might be characterized as spiritual emergencies (Lukoff et.al, 1998). Besides the psychospiritual categories mentioned by Turner et.al (1995) and Lukoff et.al (1998), Whitney (1998) has also made an argument in favor of understanding mania as a form of spiritual emergency.


Because of the nature of psychoreligious and psychospiritual problems, the transpersonal community made a proposal for a new diagnostic category entitled "religious or spiritual problem" at the beginning of the 1990s. This category was later included in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) under the heading "Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention", Code V62.89 (American Psychiatric Association, 1994; Lu et.al, 1997). According to transpersonal theorists, the inclusion is part of the greater cultural sensitivity of the manual and could help promote enhanced understanding between the fields of psychiatry and religion/spirituality (Turner et.al, 1995; Sovatsky, 1998). The construct validity of the new category has been assessed by Milstein et.al (2000).


Criticisms of transpersonal psychology

Criticisms of transpersonal psychology have come from several commentators. One of the earliest criticisms of the field was issued by the Humanistic psychologist Rollo May, who disputed the conceptual foundations of transpersonal psychology (Aanstos, Serling & Greening, 2000). May was particularly concerned about the low level of reflection on the dark side of human nature, and on human suffering, among the early transpersonal theorists. A similar critique was also put forward by Alexander (1980) who thought that Transpersonal Psychology, in light of the thinking of William James, represented a philosophy that failed to take evil adequately into account. This serious criticism has been absorbed by later Transpersonal theory, which has been more willing to reflect on these important dimensions of human existence (Scotton, Chinen and Battista, 1996; Daniels, 2005). Criticism has also come from the cognitive psychologist, and humanist, Albert Ellis (1989) who has questioned transpersonal psychology's scientific status and its relationship to religion and mysticism. Rollo May (April 21, 1909, Ada, Ohio - October 22, 1994, Tiburon, California) was the best known American existential psychologist, authoring the influential book Love and Will in 1969. ... For other people named William James see William James (disambiguation) William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Friedman (2000) has criticized the field of Transpersonal psychology for being underdeveloped as a field of science, and he mentions a number of factors which he believe are anti-scientific beliefs prevalent in the field. He further differentiates between Transpersonal psychology as a field of scientific psychology, and the larger area of transpersonal studies which, according to the author, may include a number of unscientific approaches. Doctrines or ideas of many colorful personalities, who were or are spiritual teachers in the Western world, such as Gurdjieff or Alice Bailey, are often assimilated in the transpersonal psychology mainstream scene. This development is, generally, seen as detrimental to the aspiration of transpersonal psychologists to gain a firm and respectable academic status. However, Scotton, Chinen and Battista (1996) believe that much of this criticism can be nuanced if one differentiates between the field of Transpersonal Psychology on the one hand, and a popular mainstream scene that operates outside of an academic context, on the other. George Ivanovich Gurdjieff George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (January 13 / January 14, 1866? - October 29, 1949), the Greek-Armenian mystic and teacher of dancing born in Alexandropol, Armenia (then of the Russian Empire, now Gumri, Armenia), traveled to many parts of the world (i. ... Alice A. Bailey Shown here on the cover of a Danish translation of her autobiography, her work has been translated into over 50 languages. ...


It could also be argued that most psychologists do not hold strictly to traditional schools of psychology — most psychologists take an eclectic approach. This could mean that the transpersonal categories listed are considered by standard subdisciplines of psychology; religious conversion falling within the gambit of social psychology, altered states of consciousness within physiological psychology, and spiritual life within the psychology of religion. Transpersonal psychologists, however, disagree with the approach to such phenomena taken by traditional psychology, and claim that transpersonal categories have typically been dismissed either as signs of various kinds of mental illnesses, or as a regression to infantile stages of psychosomatic development. Thus, as illustrated by the pre/trans fallacy, religious and spiritual experiences have in the past been seen as either regressive or pathological and treated as such. Look up Eclectic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The scope of social psychological research. ... Physiological psychology is sometimes related to psychiatry, and in fact may end up becoming the parent branch which contains psychiatry. ... Psychology of religion is psychologys theory of religious experiences and beliefs. ... A mental illness or mental disorder refers to one of many mental health conditions characterized by distress, impaired cognitive functioning, atypical behavior, emotional dysregulation, and/or maladaptive behavior. ... A psychosomatic illness is one with physical manifestations and supposed psychological cause, often diagnosed when any known or identifiable physical cause was excluded by medical examination. ... Ken Wilber posits that psychological development moves from the pre-personal, through the personal levels of development, to the transpersonal - this latter developmental milieu supposedly being the arena of the spiritually advanced and enlightened individuals. ...


See also

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A transpersonal experience is an experience of being out-of-body, out-of-place and/or out-of-time. ... Humanistic psychology is a school of psychology that emerged in the 1950s in reaction to both behaviorism and psychoanalysis. ... Near-Death studies is a school of psychology and psychiatry that studies the phenomenology and after-effects of a Near-death experience, also called NDE. The phenomenology of a NDE usually includes physiological, psychological and transcendental factors that come together to form an overall pattern when numerous NDE reports are... Psychology of religion is psychologys theory of religious experiences and beliefs. ... Maurice Bucke Richard Maurice Bucke (1837–1902) was an important Canadian progressive psychiatrist in the late nineteenth century. ... Nonduality is the absence or belief in the absence of dualism or dichotomy. ... Roberto Assagioli (Venice,February 27, 1888 - Capolona dArezzo, August 23, 1974) was an influential Italian psychiatrist who was the founder of the psychological movement known as Psychosynthesis. ... Trance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Transpersonal anthropology is a subdiscipline of cultural anthropology. ...

References and related reading

  • Aziz, Robert, C.G. Jung’s Psychology of Religion and Synchronicity, (1990), currently in its 10th printing, a refereed publication of The State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-0166-9.
  • Aziz, Robert, Synchronicity and the Transformation of the Ethical in Jungian Psychology in Carl B. Becker, ed. Asian and Jungian Views of Ethics, Westport, CT: Greenwood, (1999), ISBN 0-313-30452-1.
  • Aziz, Robert, The Syndetic Paradigm: The Untrodden Path Beyond Freud and Jung, (2007), a refereed publication of The State University of New York Press. ISBN 13:978-0-7914-6982-8.
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  Results from FactBites:
 
ITP | Transpersonal Psychology (920 words)
Transpersonal psychology is the future norm in psychology, as yet unrecognized by the mainstream.
Transpersonal psychology is largely inclusive of and builds on the psychoanalytic, behavioral/experimental, and humanistic psychologies that preceded it.
Further, transpersonal psychology recognizes that not only are there different states of consciousness that one may move into and out of during the course of a day but that there are also stages or stations of consciousness that, through development, one can come to live in relatively permanently.
transpersonal psychology: Information from Answers.com (2742 words)
Transpersonal psychology is a school of psychology that studies the transcendent, or spiritual dimensions of humanity.
Transpersonal psychology is sometimes confused with parapsychology, a mistake made due to the overlapping and unconventional research interests of both fields.
Transpersonal psychology is an academic discipline, not a religious or spiritual movement, and many of the field's leading authors, among those Sovatsky (1998) and Rowan (1993), have addressed problematic aspects of New Age hermeneutics.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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