Traditional therapeutic approaches (brief therapy, cognitive/behavioral, family systems, psychodynamic, etc.) have as some of their goals increased effectiveness of ego functioning, improvement in communication and interrelational skills, rewriting and reworking old family scripts and patterns, recovering from various addictive disorders, as well as healing past trauma and associated feelings of shame and guilt. These are all worthy objectives, and these approaches seek to address important issues for many clients. As a Transpersonal therapist, I assist my client in working through these and other issues of concern by utilizing a synthesis of different therapeutic styles that fit the client's particular situation and orientation.

As a Transpersonal therapist, I have also noticed that even when operating with a relatively healthy or functional ego, people often go through life, if not experiencing acute suffering, then at least in a state of chronic discontent. We believe inner peace is just around the corner, in the form of more wealth or possessions, a more fulfilling career, the perfect relationship, some sense of security (physical, financial, or emotional), etc. We reach what it is we imagine will finally bring us lasting contentment only to find that, if satisfaction is attained, it is short-lived. We strive to achieve personal happiness, but still find ourselves either vaguely or remarkably unhappy. So we reevaluate our priorities, adjust our strategies, and set our sights on the next goal.

STOP THE SEARCH!

Transpersonal Psychotherapy holds as a basic premise that human existence, by its very nature, is an experience that consists of varying degrees of dissatisfaction, from vague discontent to intense suffering, when engaged from the perspective of the individual ego, healthy or otherwise. A true, lasting state of inner peace, unconditional love for self and others, and genuine freedom from suffering are as elusive as attempts to capture one's reflection in a pool of still water. We have been striving to build the perfect ego, the perfect self, but no one is truly content, and everywhere there is suffering. Proof of this can be abundantly seen, from the confusion, pain, and drama of one's own personal life, to the chaos, hatred, and war that define the global condition. What is wrong with this picture? Do we just need to work harder, develop a better therapeutic approach, find the correct philosophy, or become more religiously devoted ?

Transpersonal thought holds that true freedom from the inherent discontent and suffering of human existence can only be tasted when we directly experience the truth of who we are. This occurs when the experience of one's self shifts from the illusion of a separate, individual ego to the reality of the Transpersonal (through and transcendent to the personality) Self as one's true identity. Transpersonal therapy assists a client in awakening to his/her true identity by facilitating recognition of the habitual, chronically dysfunctional, inner mental commentary that keeps this truth obscured from awareness. This opening can happen in an instant, in this present moment, when one's mind stops and becomes still. Awakening to one's true identity, or True Nature, taps into the source of a deep, abiding peace, love, and wisdom. Many sages, saints, and awakened beings throughout the ages have pointed to this one reality. Now is a time when the opportunity for human beings to not only experience, but live as this truth, has never been greater, or more imperative.


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