Transpersonal psychology is a school of psychology that studies the transpersonal, self-transcendent or spiritual aspects of the human experience.
A short definition from the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology suggests that transpersonal psychology “is concerned with the study of humanity’s highest potential, and with the recognition, understanding, and realization of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness”. Issues considered in transpersonal psychology include spiritual self-development, self beyond the ego, peak experiences, mystical experiences, systemic trance and other sublime and/or unusually expanded experiences of living.
Transpersonal psychology developed from earlier schools of psychology including psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and humanistic psychology. Transpersonal psychology attempts to describe and integrate spiritual experience within modern psychological theory and to formulate new theory to encompass such experience. Types of spiritual experience examined vary greatly but include mysticism, religious conversion, altered states of consciousness, trance and spiritual practices.
Although Carl Jung, Otto Rank and others explored aspects of the spiritual and transpersonal in their work, Miller notes that Western psychology has had a tendency to ignore the spiritual dimension of the human psyche.
Last updated: April 3, 2014 at 11:41 am
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