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Psychosynthesis Made Easy

By Stephanie Sorrell

Review

 

This brief work (83 pages) on the psychospiritual psychology known as Psychosynthesis developed by Dr. Roberto Assagioli provides a clear presentation of the origins of the approach, the underlying philosophy, and the essential interventions. Author Ms. Sorrell holds an advanced degree in Psychosynthesis and has further training as an applied practitioner. She not only reviews the psychology, but explores how it has assisted her own growth process. Her latest book is neither a self-help workbook nor a text for practitioners, but can serve as a solid introduction to an underappreciated therapy.

While Dr. Assagioli practiced medicine and psychoanalysis in 19th century Italy, Psychosynthesis only became popular in the 1970s. Assagioli was influenced by psychodynamic theorists, the spiritual philosopher William James, and the humanistic psychologists such as Abraham Maslow who focused on human potential and self-realization.  Perceptions of safety and belonging are held as foundational to the continual human work of growth and unfolding of an authentic self.  Psychosynthesis is known as a transpersonal psychology with a key principle of focusing on relationship, both intrapersonal and interpersonal. According to this approach, developing accepting relationships with oneself and others as well as good ego functioning will allow individuals to transcend the self and grow spiritually. Without such a foundation, spiritual paths may serve as means of escaping pain and prevent necessary psychological progress.    

As a survival mechanism for childhood trauma and conflicts in the environment, individuals may develop internal schisms or “sub-personalities” that later become activated once challenges or uncertainties are encountered. These disowned aspects of the self contain wants and needs that may go unrecognized and unmet.  Psychosynthesis helps to bring into conscious awareness these experiences and needs so that the self is strengthened. Conscious awareness allows an individual to take back personal power and exercise choice. Meditations, imagery, and exploration of the language of symbols are used in the therapy.

Both Dr. Roberto Assagioli and Psychosynthesis deserve wider recognition. Strategies to help individuals safely progress psychologically and even spiritually once they have tools for deep connection are sorely needed by our troubled societies. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who wishes to learn of this ‘psychology of the soul.”      


Key Themes

Psychosynthesis

Psychotherapy

Meditation and Mindfulness

Anxiety

 

Key Themes:

  • Psychosynthesis

Significant Quotes / Pages

 

p. 9 Because Assagioli understood the importance of being grounded in the world, he would treat the “whole” person, initially using his training in psychoanalysis to locate hidden blocks in the personality. As we shall see in the chapter on Subpersonalities, many of the blockages are developed in early childhood. This is not necessarily because parents are inherently bad, but because they were emotionally handicapped in some way, performing their actions unconsciously, as perhaps, their own parents had done.

p. 37 Although accepting that our negative history may not make future relationships any the less challenging, conscious awareness will give us the ground to make choices between collapsing into old and outworn behaviors or choosing to behave differently. We can choose to develop a different way of “meeting” the other person, rather than reacting to our own personal history. 

Reference: Stephanie, Sorrell. 2011. Psychosynthesis Made Easy. O-Books, 2011

Reviewer

Ms Casadi "Khaki" Marino
Date Review Submitted: Tuesday 4th February 2014