| Style over substance|
Transpersonal Psychology is a hypothesis of mental health masquerading as legitimate psychology. Transpersonal psychology is based on the notion that trauma in past lives, birth, gestation and disconnection from God/energy/transcendent/soul has left everyone sick. Practitioners attempt to heal this sickness… usually at a large cost; however, they are treating a disease that doesn't exist.
Stanislav Grof coined the term but it has a long tradition; it has peppered the works of pseudoscience promoters, of all stripes and colours, since the eighteenth century including Jeffrey Sumber, William James, Carl Jung, Deepak Chopra, Bruce Greyson and Ervin Laszlo. According to Grof, Shamans have something to do with Transpersonal Psychology and hold the secret for the Western world/Western science/Western psychology/misdirected Western psychotherapy/Western industrial civilization/Westerner/Western Western/West/Wes.....
Abraham Maslow has studied the psychological effects of "spiritual psychologies of the Great Traditions" but his work quickly leads to tautologies, platitudes and leaves a whole lot of ambiguity which is exploited by pseudoscience promoters. He also created a platform for pseudoscience by founding the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology.
Transpersonal psychology may look like this:
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I reach into the many ‘files’ of a client’s energy and follow as I am lead.[sic] There is no one modality I use -and I work completely by instinct. One client may require Tong Ren along with a past life clearing before balancing. Another may have entities and I will go in to find them another place to live before I’m able to work with the client’s physical body.
It's best to stay clear of these people.
Gems of Transpersonal psychology
I find not only self-actualizing people who transcend, but also nonhealthy people, non-self-actualizers who have important transcendent experiences.
Notwithstanding my own inability to accept either popular Christianity or scholastic theism, I suppose that my belief--that, in communion with the Ideal, new force comes into the world and new departures are made here below--subjects me to being classed among the supernaturalists of the piecemeal or crasser type.
Transpersonal psychology is interested in a significant subgroup of these states that have heuristic, healing, transformative and even evolutionary potential. This includes experiences of shamans and their clients, those of initiates in native rites of passage and ancient mysteries of death and rebirth, of spiritual practitioners and mystics of all ages, and individuals in psychospiritual crisis (“spiritual emergencies”)
It is only through the psyche that we can establish that God acts upon us, but we are unable to distinguish whether these actions emanate from God or from the unconscious. We cannot tell whether God and the unconscious are two different entities. Both are border-line concepts for transcendental contents. But empirically it can be established, with a sufficient degree of probability, that there is in the unconscious an archetype of wholeness. Strictly speaking, the God-image does not coincide with the unconscious as such, but with this special content of it, namely the archetype of the Self. God is reality itself.
- Theoretical and empirical basis of transpersonal psychology and psychotherapy: Observations from LSD research by Stanislav Grof (1973). Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 5(1):15-53.
- New Perspectives in Psychiatry, Psychology, and Psychotherapy: Observations from Modern Consciousness Researchby Stanislav Grof
- 6 Facts about Transpersonal Psychology http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/11/03/6-facts-about-transpersonal-psychology/
- Abraham Maslow, Transpersonal Psychology, and self-Transcendence http://www.rare-leadership.org/Maslow_on_transpersonal_psychology.html
- William James, Theosophist By Tony Lysy http://www.theosophical.org/publications/1556
- New Perspectives in Psychiatry, Psychology, and Psychotherapy: Observations from Modern Consciousness Research Stanislav Grof http://www.transpersonal.lv/index.php/en/pub/pub-3?task=download&tmpl=component&id=24