What is Transpersonal psychology origin purpose and importance

Transpersonal psychology

Can psychology deal with spirituality? Undoubtedly, as long as the two things are not confused: they are different matters, however they can intertwine to help us stay well and reconnect with our most authentic nature. And this is precisely the aim of transpersonal psychology, to lead the individual to the realization of the Self, and therefore to help him to awaken his spiritual nature.

What is transpersonal psychology

Transpersonal psychology is characterized as the contribution of scientific environments to the study and understanding of inner experience of a transcendent order. According to the definition of Charles Tart (1994), transpersonal psychology works for the realization of the Being , for the awakening of the spiritual nature of each individual and his most genuinely human qualities.

An experience that over the centuries has received numerous names from different traditions: mystical ecstasy, cosmic experience, cosmic consciousness, oceanic experience, peak experience, nirvana, satori, samadhi, kingdom of heaven, dream body, nagual, etc.


  • The focus of transpersonal psychology considers that inner experiences of a mystical and ecstatic nature, as well as the yearning for the transcendence of the Ego , constitute a significant aspect of human experience and, therefore, worthy of study by psychology.
  • In its quest, transpersonal therapy integrates the experience of western psychology , especially the gestalt , existential, humanist movement , with eastern mystical traditions based on meditation such as yoga, zen, sufism and shamans based on ecstasy and direct contact. with the forces of nature.
  • Transpersonal therapy is strongly influenced by the latest acquisitions in modern physics and biophysics; and also, it is closely related to other sciences such as sophrology, sociology, anthropology and parapsychology.

Where does transpersonal psychology come from?

The term transpersonal, applied to psychology, seems to have been used for the first time by Roberto Assagioli , the creator of psychosynthesis, and then by Gustav Jung, who indicates the areas of psychic reality that extend beyond identification with the individual personality.

Transpersonal psychology, therefore, indicates the psychological approach that is concerned with the study and culture of spirituality and spiritual experiences in a psychological context. This approach that began to take hold in the field of psychology around the sixties, based on the work of Abraham Maslow , who defends:

  • Consideration of the development of potentialities.
  • Study of the gradual satisfaction of needs.
  • Establishment of the relationship between “person and person” in the therapeutic relationship.
  • Grounding of the mystical experience as foundational moments of a self-realization event.

The first association of transpersonal psychology was founded in the United States in 1969 by personalities such as Charlotte Buhler, Abraham Maslow, Allan Watts, Arthur Koestler, Viktor Frankl.


Transpersonal psychology aims to expand the field of traditional investigation of psychology, psychiatry and psychotherapy, going beyond the ordinary dimension, the self and the space-time limits of the Cartesian Newtonian scientific paradigm. The reasons that underlie the usefulness and transcendence of transpersonal therapy are listed below:

  • The ultimate goal of transpersonal psychology is, in fact, to investigate and experience non-ordinary, transbiographical, transpersonal states of consciousness in order to access mystical and spiritual dimensions.
  • Indeed, for the first time in the history of psychology, transpersonal psychology puts spirituality in its various expressions in dialogue and bridges the gap between traditional spiritual paths, until it recognizes the spiritual dimension as central to the knowledge, resolution and cure of psyche.
  • Transpersonal psychology is, then, the orientation of psychology that deals with those behaviors and experiences that are perceived as going beyond the field of personal concerns and the individual’s social roles.
  • The attention of transpersonal psychology is directed to something that goes beyond the self, to the perception of life and the universe, basic and common to sensitive beings, such as the feelings that express the deep interconnection of everything that exists , and the ideas that transcend the selfish considerations.

Importance of Transpersonal Psychology

The techniques that the transpersonal psychotherapist puts into practice have the objective of leading the man into a transforming event that allows him to access deeper dimensions of himself. That is, transpersonal psychology traces a path oriented towards the “I” , towards that deepest part of ourselves from which the deepest inspirations and demands of our soul arise.

It is possible to explore the meaning of our life and understand why, here and now, we face what is happening, managing to insert it into a broader project. Therefore, the role of transpersonal psychology is, in this way, not only to integrate the different instinctual, cognitive and emotional components, but also the spiritual emergencies, the subtler perception that conditions our lives in reality.

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