Called by some as 'Psychology of Hope' or 'Psychology of the Soul', Psychosynthesis sees the individual beyond their personality and current situation, allowing for what is trying to emerge in them and achieving their full potential.
Psychosynthesis is a therapeutic approach that aims to facilitate & guide the individual in their journey of growth, self-realisation and self-actualisation. It is a transpersonal model, giving attention to the person's potential for the Future and to greater aspirations of higher nature, such as compassion, altruism, intuition and creativity.
Psychosynthesis gives emphasis on finding meaning and purpose in life and the therapy process allows for that discovery. The 'synthesis' refers to the balance and harmony between the different personalities and subpersonalities within each individual, and also between the psychological forces and the unconscious influences.
The intention is to integrate the different parts of the person into a stronger, more authentic, more conscious 'whole'. The client will then find a deeper sense of identity, the centre that remains consistent and constant in their essence, their core: their Self.
The therapeutic process is considered a journey of increasing self-awareness and growth, where the clients discover and develop their inner strength and their own skills to live the lives they wish to live.
Psychosynthesis was developed by Roberto Assagioli (1888 - 1974), an Italian psychiatrist, one of the first to introduce Psychoanalysis in Italy. However, Assagioli went beyond Freud's ideas and principles, adding the spiritual dimension and potential for the Future into his work.
In Psychosynthesis, we help the client to explore their Past, as reference and a way to understand current situations and patterns; also looking at the Present, here & now, what the presenting issues are and what is troubling the client, recognising patterns of behaviour and other possible influences; and, in addition, we see the client as a Soul and we are constantly looking at their potential for the Future, and at what is trying to emerge.
Assagioli studied many different philosophical, psychological and spiritual traditions, including psychoanalysis, Jungian psychology, existentialism, Buddhism, Yoga and Jewish mysticism. In consequence, Psychosynthesis is an integrative model, which welcomes and utilises different methods and techniques from other approaches and cultures, as long as they benefit and enrich the client's personal journey.
Assagioli also suggested that therapists can bring their own talents and any particular training, specialisation, into their clinical work. Some of the most common exercises and techniques applied during sessions are: meditation, Gestalt, imagery, visualisation, art therapy, drawing, journal keeping and exploration of dreams.
Therefore, Psychosynthesis is a therapeutic model that sees the individual as a whole, including both their personality and their Soul. Not only the therapist & client work with the client's presenting issues, exploring their past, but they also look at their future and what's trying to emerge.
The therapist might use techniques or exercises during the sessions, but only if relevant and meaningful to that specific client. Psychosynthesis is a Psychology of the Soul, of Hope, and aims to guide the individual in their journey of growth, self-realisation and self-actualisation. Finding meaning and purpose in life.
In Assagioli's own words: "Psychosynthesis is a method of psychological development and self realization for those who refuse to remain the slave of their own inner phantasms or of external influences, who refuse to submit passively to the play of psychological forces which is going on within them, and who are determined to become the master of their own lives."