Transpersonal psychology is also called the spiritual psychology. Trans means beyond the ego, the self, the identity. The experience of transpersonal encounter normally is characterised by feeling part of something bigger, higher, i.e. universe God, Consciousness. It could be described as spiritual feeling and psychology job is to research it from the perspective of both religious, scientific and spiritual perspectives. It had been funded in 1960 hugely by humanistic psychologists such as Abraham Maslow, Stanislaw Grof and Anthony Sutich who were exploring their spirituality but this time form the scientific, evidence-based paradigm.
Transpersonal psychology included many humanistic principles but for the first time in history gave to the spiritual experiences high regards, due respects and included it in the framework. Early researchers had been influenced by Buddhism and Sufism. It also researched spiritual paths, highest states of consciousness, sense of connection to higher power, peak experiences, spirit crisis, religious conversions, self beyond the ego, mystical experiences, systemic trans, revolution, altered conscious, religious rituals, evolution, healing, spiritual awakening, and dreams
In a way it was a huge U-turn for psychology, as psychology originated from Greek ethos of treating psychology as a science of soul ( psyche means soul, logos – knowledge). Transpersonal psychology decided to honour: spirit, intuition , part that longs for meanings and values, spiritual dimensions and paths. Until today there are numerous researchers establishing therapeutic tools accordingly to human personality, potential and cultural believes about the spirituality. Those can include meditation, prayers, fasting, saunas, injecting halogenic substances (LSD), mystic or religious experience, hypnotism.
However questionable were the choices of research methodologies, what we can be grateful for now in psychology and psychotherapy is the freedom of embodying our spirituality in the work with client. No longer do we live in the Freudian times, where religion was considered for psychopathology and subjected to criticism. People of faith and those on their individual paths now have similar trades, experience familiar patterns of holistic development and although they swim in different ponds of spirituality practices, they are truly speaking the same language. What an amazing act of unity in the evidence-based research! We no longer have to live in separate reality, but proudly be practitioners who are embodying their personal, religious believes in the congruency of their life, profession and spirituality.
Therapy is no longer restricted to few core conditions and basic theories, but rather expands into intangible between client and therapist and invites variety of rituals, mediations, visualisations, dream interpretations, hypnotherapy, creativity and prayers. The self-awareness now can expand into spiritual consciousness and embody wholeness of human experience connected to the Higher Self/God/Power. The acceptance and obedience to own destiny and wisdom of Creator/Creative Will are no longer a sign of religious or orthodox believes but rather becoming a subject to personal growth’s exploration and means of finding the life purpose followed by stability in mental health and emotional equilibrium. This exciting merge of psychology, spirituality and believe gives permission to faith-based clients to fullness of counselling experience, builds a high self-esteem and allows for maintenance own identity.