Integrating a transpersonal approach to coaching, therapy & other types of healing practices.
The paradigm of Transpersonal Psychology has progressed from earlier cognitive-behavioural and humanistic approaches into a more holistic approach and is often labelled the forth force within Psychology. There is an emphasis on the study of transformation in addition to acknowledging the beyond ego, transcendent and spiritual domains of human experience. The word “spiritual” is often misunderstood, however, it is important to recognise that it is separate from religion or any specific doctrine, and it can be understood universally as an inner experience of connection to something greater than oneself, such as the sacred and meaningful.
Finding Meaning through a supportive Framework
The transpersonal approach recognises that experiences of burnout, a loss of meaning in one's life, anxiety, depression, or certain mental-emotional struggles are often integral parts of transformation and healing. When an individual’s innate resilience is nourished, and these experiences are worked through with the right level of guidance and support, greater meaning may be found behind these experiences. The Transpersonal approach to coaching, therapy or healing aims to facilitate a client’s ability to interpret their experiences in meaningful ways and provides a supportive framework that recognises their transformative potential as opposed to treating them as something to be repressed or ignored.
An individual’s transformation and growth may involve shifting how they perceive themselves, others and the world around them. This often includes finding greater purpose and meaning behind experiences, whilst also developing an awareness of the interconnectedness of all things. Stanislav Grof described many types of mental and physical struggles as, “a crisis, but at the same time an opportunity to ‘emerge’, to rise to a higher level of psychological functioning and spiritual awareness".
Connection with the Spiritual
Transpersonal coaching supports and guides individuals on their journey by acknowledging that we are an interdependent and holistic system made up of mind, body and spirit. This includes integrating the “trans” personal potential of human nature such as the beyond ego, transcendent or spiritual domains. This enables individuals to live in accordance with the values and beliefs that are in alignment with their authentic self. It also cultivates an ability to live compassionately, whilst fulfilling one's shared human needs.
Complementary and Holistic Approaches
The transpersonal approach recognises the potential of working with other complementary and holistic modalities. It is my experience that sound therapy and energy healing such as Reiki support other therapeutic processes on a deeper level. These approaches help clients to develop a greater awareness of the holistic self and the connection between the mind, body and spirit. Therefore, using such complementary approaches facilitates an individual's ability to access their intuition, inner resources and self-healing capabilities.
Transpersonal coaching and therapies place emphasis on the transformative potential of the healing presence that takes place within and between the practitioner and client within sessions. Working with others from an intuitive and mindful state of presence, enables greater transformation to take place. John Welwood is a Psychotherapist who integrates spiritual concepts and, in reference to working as a therapist, he suggests,
"It involves opening to that experience and exploring the meaning of that experience, letting it unfold, step by step, without judging it according to preconceived ideas. As a therapist, I find that allowing whatever arises to be there as it is and gently inquiring into it leads naturally in the direction of deeper truth. This is what I call psychological work in the service of spiritual development."
The qualities described by John Welwood are qualities encouraged within transpersonal coaching and the concept of “holding the space” refers to the held qualities and interaction between client and coach. The qualities may include intuition, connection and compassion which encompass transpersonal or altered states. Jevon Dangeli shares how the technique of open-awareness assists in the creation of this held space, as it promotes a state of being in which the inner and outer world merge to form a greater sense of interconnectedness. Open-awareness can be entered into by the coach, who then guides the client into the same space using a guided process. This enables both client and coach to experience an embodied yet expanded state of consciousness, which encourages an open, empathetic and compassionate space.
This post shares how a transpersonal approach to coaching, healing and other holistic therapies such as sound healing and reiki can lead towards positive transformation of the whole self. The transpersonal perspective values beyond ego states and also the importance of facilitating a safe, nurturing and intuitive space during sessions. If you’re interested to find out more please contact me and read below to find out more.
Jules has an MSc in Transpersonal Psychology, Consciousness and Spirituality and is a qualified Transpersonal Coach. She is also an experienced teacher holding an MA in Education. She has drawn on the knowledge of mindfulness, healing, therapy and psychology in which to form her unique approach to transformation and growth.
Jules is passionate about supporting people on their journey towards 'wholeness'. She especially supports people through life transitions, experiences of burnout or when there is an inner calling to change one’s whole way of being. With the right support, a time of 'crisis' can lead to a significant spiritual and psychological transformation of the whole self. Jules guides people on their journey, helping them to connect with the meaning and purpose behind their experiences, so they can take manageable steps to live a life in alignment with their authentic self.