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what is psychosynthesis?

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Seven Core Concepts in Psychosynthesis  

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- seeds of change -

Psychosynthesis is a theoretical model of human nature, of the natural unfolding, growing, of human being.  It is based on observation and scholarship of the process of biosynthesis and the study of different cultures, philosophies, psychology, art and literature.

Dr. Roberto Assagioli, founder and a contemporary of Freud and Jung, was trained in psychoanalysis and became disenchanted with its limiting and imbalanced focus on the lower instincts. Early in his career he introduced his view that the natural unfolding process of psychosynthesis is just as important and necessary in understanding how we grow and develop. Assagioli’s model includes recognition of transpersonal experiences and its higher qualities as a natural and vital part of who we most essentially are.  His approach is sometimes described as “a psychology with a soul”.

It is an active way of being and a way to help people move toward greater self-fulfillment and expression. Assagioli was attracted to the work of Abraham Maslow, a humanistic psychologist, and shared his view of growth and development as a process of evolving synthesis of the many unique attributes and potentials each person brings into his or her life. At its core Psychosynthesis thus is aligned with the holistic humanistic approach. Psychosynthesis includes the utilization of various techniques and exercises as determined by the unique needs and situation of each person.  Psychosynthesis is ˜person-specific’.

The approach and practice of psychosynthesis first and foremost recognizes the unique experience of each person.

“...by not giving any undue importance to any one technique .. .by the steady cultivation and  use of the synthetic spirit, by the constant endeavor to keep the entire picture in view, to relate always the part to the whole and last, by emphasizing in theory and in practice  the central, decisive importance of the human factor, of the living interpersonal relation between  the therapist [practitioner] and the patient [client/student].” 
Assagioli, Psychosynthesis, p. 60.

Psychosynthesis is a positive, strength-oriented approach.  Psychosynthesis embodies all of who we are - it addresses the whole person. Its role is to bring balance to an of otherwise pathological and deficit oriented paradigm - a perspective that continues today unfortunately in the field of clinical psychology. This was Assagioli’s primary contribution and life work - to address and realize that we are more than the basement of a house - we have a  middle-story and upper story as well.

But more than that, psychosynthesis is a vision and a voice of our times. The seeds of change have already been planted and nature, in its unfathomable wisdom has brought to the fore a new generation with a sense of a higher purpose, with a sense of ‘ soul’ and just in the nick of time as the industrial, coporate and military-driven society begins to absorb and realize its imbalanced and inadequate (harmful) perspective. We have been mostly unwittingly dragged along kicking and screaming as instruments in this process of synthesis. Assagioli’s voice and primary message is that through conscious awareness and will we can join in and be an active part of our own process of change and evolving.

Video of Roberto Assagioli

1888 - 1974

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