The word ‘transpersonal’ breaks down into two roots: ‘trans’ meaning ‘beyond or through’ and ‘personal’ which is derived from the word ‘persona’ i.e. our identity, mask or personality. The word transpersonal, thus, represents those elements of ourselves which are ‘beyond’ the identity to which we ordinarily associate ourselves.
Within the context of how this specific field of psychology defines itself, and in the words of Dr. Beth Hedva:
“The term ‘transpersonal’ implies that these special elements which are ‘beyond’ our personality, beyond the standard identity of who and what we are, are available for us to use, to help us ‘through’ life. Waiting to be discovered in the core of who and what we are as human beings, is an expanded consciousness — not outside of us — but rather running ‘through’ each person. In fact, it is frequently the process of going through very human experiences, including a crisis or challenge, that we awaken to unknown strengths, and come to experience greater resources within our being.?
Transpersonal therapies draw on a wide range of contemporary and ancient traditions to enable an individual to contact an expanded perspective on their personal life issues. Spiritual practices from ancient and indigenous cultures, along with contemporary research in clinical psychology, parapsychology, anthropology and religious studies blend to offer clients a personalized approach to self-healing, growth, and integration of expanded states of awareness.
Sessions are customized to meet the needs and goals of the individual, couple, family, committee or work group. The unique needs of the client determine the path the individual takes to grow or evolve, as well as the direction for therapy.
A wide range of therapeutic techniques may be employed to assist in this process ranging from: spiritually directed therapy and embodied awareness to cognitive and behavioral approaches, strategic brief therapy; using interpersonal therapies such as family therapy, gestalt or existential therapies; or using symbolic process, including expressive arts therapies, as well as possibly using more intuitive tools such as astrology, tarot, dream work and other ancient and vibrational healing methods (stones, crystals, colors, aromas, guided imagery, energy work, breath work and meditation training).