The term “transpersonal psychology” was first introduced by humanistic psychologists such as Victor Frankl and Abraham Maslow in the 1960s.
As a field of study, transpersonal psychology is concerned with the totality of human experience, aiming to integrate spiritual and transcendent elements within the framework of modern psychological science.
Unlike other traditions, it values wholeness, and sees an individual’s wellbeing as inseparable from, and interconnected with, the entire pattern of being of which they are apart. According to the transpersonal view, your mental health doesn’t just exist “in your head” as many other approaches assume.
Instead, transpersonal psychology views human beings in the broadest possible context; taking mental, spiritual, emotional, physical, and social considerations into account.
Transpersonal approaches are increasingly being utilised in a wide range of psychological therapies to help clients heal, self-actualise, and live with a greater sense of meaning, purpose, and connection in day-to-day life.
In this online conference, we’ll explore three of these approaches, with talks on:
You’ll learn how these insights can benefit your own life, but also your ability to help others too.
For a full breakdown of the lectures, speakers (and their reading recommendations) emailed to your inbox, please click here.
Freud claimed that dreams provide unique insights into human motivation. The discovery of the brain mechanisms of REM sleep (between the 1950s and 70s) cast considerable doubt on this: REM dreaming occurs automatically in 90-minute cycles and it is generated by a mindless part of the brainstem. This lecture will present findings which show that dreaming is not in fact isomorphic with REM sleep, that it does not occur automatically, and that it is generated by a part of the brain that is deeply implicated in emotion, motivation and memory. Recent findings will also be presented from an ongoing study which is seeking to establish the biological function of dreaming.
Professor Mark Solms is best known for his discovery of the forebrain mechanisms of dreaming, and for his pioneering integration of psychoanalytic theories and methods with those of modern neuroscience. He holds the Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital (Departments of Psychology and Neurology). His other positions have included: Honorary Lecturer in Neurosurgery at St. Bartholomew’s & Royal London School of Medicine, Director of the International Neuro-Psychoanalysis Centre, London, and Director of the Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuro-Psychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute.
Professor Solms’ books include: Clinical Studies in Neuro-Psychoanalysis (winner of the NAAP’s Gradiva Award Best Book, Science Category in 2001), The Brain and The Inner World (2002), and most recently: Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness (2021).
Chairwork is a highly emotional and very powerful experiential psychotherapy that is currently undergoing a renaissance as clinicians all over the world are beginning to integrate it into their practices.
Originally created by Dr. Jacob Moreno, the creator of Psychodrama, it was made famous in the 1960s by Dr. Frederick “Fritz” Perls, the creator of Gestalt Therapy. Chairwork, at its essence, involves: (a) inviting a patient to sit in one chair and to have an imaginary encounter with someone from the past, the present, or the future in the chair opposite; and/or (b) using several chairs to create dialogues among different parts of the self—with love, desire, fear, and courage often emerging as core themes.
This presentation will include:
An introduction to the Four Dialogues – which is a crystallization of over 50 years of Chairwork Practice.
Using Chairwork to:
Engage with Difficult Relationships;
Heal from Grief and Loss; and
Work through Traumatic Memories
This will be followed by live case consultation/demonstrations with volunteers by Amanda Garcia Torres, LMHC & Dr Scott Kellogg, PhD
If time permits, the group will be taken through a Compassion-Centered Chairwork dialogue.
Amanda Garcia Torres, LMHC is a certified Chairwork Psychotherapist and Co-Director of Training at the Transformational Chairwork Psychotherapy Project. Ms. Garcia Torres received her Master’s Degree in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University and has also completed training in Voice Dialogue. She began her journey with TCPP in 2013 and has trained clinicians in NYC and internationally. Her presentations and writings have addressed such topics as chairwork, trauma, social justice, oppression, and identity issues. Ms. Garcia Torres is in private practice at Chairwork Therapy NYC.
Scott Kellogg, PhD is the author of Transformational Chairwork: Using Psychotherapeutic Dialogues in Clinical Practice (2015, Rowman & Littlefield). He is a former Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at New York University and a Past-President of Division of Addictions of the New York State Psychological Association. An ISST-certified Advanced Schema Therapist, he has also trained in Gestalt Therapy and Voice Dialogue. Dr. Kellogg currently runs a chairwork-centered private practice in New York City. Through the Transformational Chairwork Psychotherapy Project, he has taught this method of psychotherapeutic dialogue to practitioners in the United States and abroad.
We all experience suffering and confusion that we intuitively know to be unnecessary. We also experience moments of openness and inherent well being. Western psychotherapy focuses on the relief which comes as we bring our young out-of-date strategies of self-care into our more current adult capacities and realities. We discover that feelings such as fear, grief, rage, and powerlessness that were in fact overwhelming to us as children can now be acknowledged and experienced as adults. Buddhism asserts that our most basic and intimate experience is that of openness – always present but usually out of our conscious experience. Rather than “what” we are experiencing, we investigate “how we are relating” to what we experience.
Engaging from open awareness, we find no evidence of problems or division. We discover that we are always living in a never resolvable stream of thoughts, feelings, and sensations because we are always and only living in our immediate experience. We will probably engage most skillfully in our lives if we train ourselves to be conscious, embodied and kind to this endless display. Therapy invites us to come out of our identification with our conditioned history. Buddhism invites us to come out of any drama about a personal identity. Both approaches have benefits and limitations. Together, as an on-going dialogue, they offer a powerful potential for less unnecessary suffering and for greater freedom.
Bruce Tift, MA, LMFT, has been in private practice since 1979, taught at Naropa University for twenty-five years, worked in a psychiatric ward and as a family therapist with social services, and has given presentations in the United States, Mexico, and Japan. In his twenties he traveled for two years by motorcycle in Europe, North Africa, and overland to India and Nepal. He has worked as a laborer, clerk, postal worker, longshoreman, painter, school bus driver, paper mill worker, miner, and truck driver. He and his wife, Reva, are now empty-nesters living in Boulder, Colorado. A practitioner of Vajrayana Buddhism for more than forty years, he had the good fortune to be a student of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, and to meet a number of realized teachers.
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