What Is Transpersonal Therapy? Definition & Types

By Nicola Kirkpatrick|Updated June 16, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Kay Adkins, LPC

Transpersonal therapy aims to improve a person's view of life, increase self-confidence, help them heal from trauma, and encourage positive body-mind relations to improve their quality of life. Transpersonal therapy takes a holistic approach by focusing not only on the mind but the body and spirit's wellness as well. Transpersonal therapy can help with a variety of mental health challenges.

Feel Celebrated And Encouraged With Transpersonal Therapy

Transpersonal Therapy

A variety of disorders are treated with transpersonal therapy. Depression, anxiety, mood and behavioral disorders, and phobias are among the list of mental illnesses that it might treat. Individuals who seek a more spiritual approach to their daily issues will likely find this treatment beneficial. In transpersonal therapy, the individual will learn to develop new coping mechanisms to address past and current issues and gain insight into repetitive behaviors. Also, those individuals who are searching to become in tune with their spiritual needs can often find solace in this approach.

How The Transpersonal Approach Works

When one is only focusing on their problems, it is difficult to see the bigger picture. This can also prevent further development of any skills. Perhaps the artistically inclined lack the motivation to create art because depression or anxiety interrupts thoughts about how their work will be perceived. With transpersonal therapy, individuals can regain the confidence to pursue those passions that have been lost.

Transpersonal therapy uses a combination of approaches that include Western and Eastern philosophy, mysticism, behaviorism, and cognitive psychology. It also takes influence from the world's religions as it recognizes other cultures’ strides in the mind-body relationship conversation.

A transpersonal therapist teaches how to cope with specific disorders using these techniques:

Meditation

This typically involves sitting still, focusing on breathing, and creating a calm environment in which to clear your mind.

Drawing Mandalas

A mindfulness technique that helps focus on clearing the mind and coping with past traumas.

Journaling

Provides the power to see the problems and determine which ones require their energy. Journaling can also help get the icky emotions out, so they are not carried around during the day.

Music Growth

This therapeutic approach can include dancing, listening, and creating music to facilitate healing and growth. Those who are creative will find the therapy notably beneficial. Learn about music therapy for another related approach.

Mindfulness Techniques

This includes focusing on the elements of breathing, surroundings, and sensations. It helps to center the individual, so the individual is more prepared to handle their daily stressors and tackle their life's challenges.

Visualization 

This is a form of guided meditation where one can safely create spaces of comfort to help when not feeling well or not coping properly.

Hypnotherapy

The therapist will guide the individual to a safe place in the mind to uncover any hidden potentials or any of the problems that are holding the individual back.

These techniques help explore personal self-concepts and personal passions. By exploring the spiritual self, you can create more meaning in life and improve the inner strengths that have always been present. This can provide balance and improve overall wellness.

History

Abraham Maslow developed this holistic and humanistic approach in the 1960s with some other psychologists such as Carl Jung and Roberto Assagioli. Maslow is most popularly known for creating his Hierarchy of Needs that focuses on the basic needs of the individual for optimum thriving. He believed that humans become dull and nihilistic without the other aspects of their needs being met, the "other" being those that are transcendent beyond tangible observance. Through spiritual cultivation and healing, the individual thrives as a human.

Difference From Other Therapies

Rather than focusing on negative events or negative thoughts, transpersonal therapy focuses on the positives. What skills does the person have that can be celebrated and encouraged? What have they already done that is healthy and worth acknowledging? It takes your human potential and pushes you to cultivate already developed skills.

Transpersonal therapy doesn't see the individual as being separate from the world, but rather a piece of the whole. Individuals are seen as part of their natural surroundings, with the understanding that all are influenced by what is surrounding them. Therefore, your surroundings will influence you. By making changes to better your surroundings or to improve an overall spiritual connection, one can ideally improve their environment and self.

The mental health professional isn't seen as the only one who has the tools and expertise to help. This particular approach focuses on what the individual can do instead of what the therapist can offer. They become more of a facilitator in this instance, and the counselee takes control of uncovering truths. It is important to remember that the individual is the one in control of healing and well-being. The provider will help find personal truths as the individual works through the sessions.

Mind & Body

Think of it this way: when eating a lot of unhealthy food, both the mind and and body are affected. A lack of exercise and hydration can make the body sore and brain lag. It will require more effort to accomplish daily tasks, do chores, and get any mental work done. When bodies are taken care of, the mind thrives.

Taking care of your spirit does much of the same. Being more mindful can help you cope with previous events in your life by accepting them and allowing those emotions to pass through you as they surface. You're not allowing them to take over. Practicing meditation can help you get into the habit of being mindful and increase relaxation. When you're constantly moving through the cycle of working and getting chores done, you can easily forget to take time for yourself. These skills help you pay attention to your body and mind to better care for it.

Is This Approach Right For You?

That depends on what one believes will be of most benefit. When seeking mental health services, it can be overwhelming to find the right fit. The most popular therapies for people living with mental disorders are cognitive-behavioral, dialectic behavioral, and cognitive analytic, to name a few. When looking for a personal approach that puts the individual in control, then transpersonal therapy may be a fit for that person.

The holistic transpersonal therapy approach can be appealing to those who are already spiritual, bolstering their own beliefs about their mind-body relations. Transpersonal therapy can improve the connection to your spiritual beliefs as well as the courage to seek guidance when in need. Asking for help can be the hardest part of seeking treatment, but transpersonal therapy can help you accept that sometimes help is needed to get through life. And that's okay!

Additionally, when seeking to enrich one's connections in life, it can be constructive to use transpersonal therapy. It reminds the individual that those connections are just as important to well-being. After all, the people we choose to be around influence us whether we realize it or not. Choose friends who want to see you learn and grow. Those who are selfish and only use you for their gain will be a drain on your connection and ultimately lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Therapist Finder

Most often, a transpersonal therapist can be found in most cities by doing a search on the internet. Their offices can help you find the right therapist who can guide you on a personal journey to an improved quality of life. Since the results can be particularly overwhelming, sometimes starting with online services can be the easier route.
 
Research comparing internet-based treatment to traditional face-to-face sessions shows that online treatment is effective. This study found that online therapy was even more effective than the traditional in-person therapy sessions, with 100 percent of participants in the online group showing continued symptom reduction three months after treatment. On the other hand, individuals in the face-to-face group therapy sessions showed “significantly worsened depressive symptoms” over the same period.

The BetterHelp Platform

BetterHelp is committed to pairing individuals with therapists they can trust through phone therapy, text therapy, and video therapy. The platform makes it easy to schedule the best time to talk. The therapists on BetterHelp are certified by their state's professional board and highly skilled: every therapist has at least three years and 1,000 hours of hands-on experience. Consider these BetterHelp therapist reviews from people like you.
 
Feel Celebrated And Encouraged With Transpersonal Therapy

BetterHelp Therapist Reviews

“Christine’s knowledge, experience, presence, and compassion have allowed me to let my heart open and release long-held beliefs and grief. I love her background with transpersonal therapy, her knowledge of the various schools of thought around spirituality, and her willingness to meet me right where I am while feeling completely safe and held. I am deeply grateful for Christine’s work!”

Conclusion

Investing in your health can be the key to improving your quality of life, whatever therapy you might choose. A transpersonal approach can be a beneficial therapy. But the journey all starts with you. When you invest in yourself, the results are bound to be a healthier you.

Commonly Asked Questions On This Topic Found Below:

What is transpersonal strategy?

What is the core practice of transpersonal counseling?

Is transpersonal psychology legitimate?

What is a transpersonal Healer?

What do transpersonal psychologists do?

Is transpersonal therapy humanistic?

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