What is Psychosynthesis?
"Psychosynthesis is a psychospiritual psychology designed to create meaningful and lasting transformation in your life. It can help you become curious about who you are, provide perspectives to understand yourself in new ways, and tap into inner resources or qualities you'd long forgotten about.
Psychological disturbances may no longer be something to get rid of but to consciously cooperate with. This process often leads to discovering long unmet needs and yet unrealized potential. By gently attending to these needs and beginning to fulfill this potential, you can experience a renewed sense of well-being, empowering self-responsibility and greater resilience in facing adversity.
Inner trust and security gradually develop as you listen to the voice of your authentic, wise soul self. Experiencing life this way can lead to more joy, freedom of choice, and inner peace, necessary antidotes to today's multi-faceted societal illnesses we all bear tragic witness to."
Bristena Mantu, Psychosynthesis Counsellor & Psychotherapist
Here are some benefits of Psychosynthesis
it helps you understand yourself on a deeper level so that you can make healthy and sustainable choices
it helps you work through difficult feelings safely so that you can feel free, happy and at peace
it helps you identify and take steps to shift self-sabotaging behaviours so that you can look after yourself & your life commitments lovingly and mindfully
it helps you consolidate a sense of inner stability, resourcefulness and resilience in the face of life's adversities so you can feel empowered and capable of overcoming obstacles with ease and grace
it helps you make meaning of complex and confusing issues so that you can navigate through them with a sense of simplicity and mastery
it helps you find your YES and your NO so that you eliminate distractions and stay focused on the things that matter the most
it helps you make use of your imaginative and creative powers so that you can feel alive and spontaneous in your self-expression
it helps you reconnect to a sense of direction and purpose in your life so that you can feel energized and fulfilled
History of Psychosynthesis
Dr Roberto Assagioli, who officially founded Psychosynthesis in the 1960s, was an eminent student of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, and contemporary with Carl Jung, the father of analytical psychology. Not many people know about his work, but in recent decades it has massively grown in popularity worldwide.
Assagioli diverged from psychoanalysis as he was dissatisfied with its limitations. He disagreed with the deterministic view that human behaviour results solely from unconscious forces and unresolved conflicts. That view excluded the possibility of free will and creativity.
His interest in yoga and meditation and his background in theosophy helped him integrate spiritual teachings on the nature of the Self as a spiritual essence into modern psychology. When asked about the difference between psychoanalysis and psychosynthesis, he replied:
"We pay far more attention to the higher unconscious and to the development of the transpersonal self. In one of his letters, Freud said, "I am interested only in the basement of the human being." Psychosynthesis is interested in the whole building. We try to build an elevator which will allow a person access to every level of his personality. After all, a building with only a basement is very limited. We want to open up the terrace where you can sunbathe or look at the stars.
Our concern is the synthesis of all areas of the personality. That means psychosynthesis is holistic, global and inclusive. It is not against psychoanalysis or even behaviour modification but it insists that the needs for meaning, for higher values, for spiritual life, are as real as biological or social needs."
Read the full interview published in the December 1974 issue of Psychology Today here.
Here are some other useful links to various descriptions of psychosynthesis:
And here is a version of Assagioli's Body-Feelings-Mind guided meditation that I often hold with clients at the beginning of sessions. You can take 10 minutes to lay back and listen to this calming, centering meditation: Body, feelings and mind in Psychosynthesis
"Psychosynthesis is a method of psychological development and self-realization for those who refuse to remain the slave of their 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." Dr. Roberto Assagioli