As a rule, we live life more or less as it comes. Yet the business of living is, in reality, an art and should be the greatest of all the arts.
Roberto Assagioli, founder of psychosynthesis
I knew I found my philosophical framework when I discovered psychosynthesis. I had taken a transformative learning course in my human development BEd program. Words like evolution, transformation, growth, hope — they sparked something. At the time I wasn’t aware of psychosynthesis and its positive message of hope and alignment. I wanted more, but I didn’t have a name for the type of psychology I was being drawn towards. For the next decade I worked in the non-profit world of adult literacy and human development. The most success we had, working with clients, came from a deep acceptance and willingness to build on their strengths. Analytical techniques or pathology had its place, but the client’s fundamental ability to engage all, or more, parts of their potential was central. The most important initiation I received was that each individual has the capacity within themselves to realize their wonderful universe within. When we honour that universe, worlds are created.
The Italian psychiatrist Roberto Assagioli began Psychosynthesis in 1910. Seeing the need to expand beyond Freud’s analysis and “talking cure”, he added synthesis and a broader use of our human abilities, such as will, imagination, and intuition. He included our spiritual side, our higher aspirations, and our center, which he called the Self. People use Psychosynthesis as a way of life – and in a wide variety of fields, such as education, psychology, business, and spirituality. Whether student or sage, we all can enhance our development, live a more centered life, have freer use of will, and enjoy a greater sense of mutual responsibility and caring.
Psychosynthesis offers tools for many purposes: embracing opposed parts of our inner worlds, enriching each other with our differences, making groups and organizations function with greater purpose, and enjoying a respectful interchange with the world that envelops us. The main goal of the broad-ranging theory and methods of Psychosynthesis is to enhance the full range of human experience and support our movement toward Self-realization.(https://www.aap-psychosynthesis.org/What-is-Psychosynthesis ) Martha Crampton further describes psychosynthesis.
Roberto Assagioli was a contemporary of Jung, with whom he collaborated for a while. However certain differences of opinion resulted in Assagioli conceiving a different approach in his therapeutic work which he called psychosynthesis.
“The emphasis is on the word ‘synthesis’ as opposed to other therapeutic approaches which were more concerned with analysis – or pulling apart. Assagioli felt that we had everything within us to be able to create wholeness, or oneness with the divine source. In one of his letters Freud said, “I am interested only in the basement of the human being.” Psychosynthesis is interested in the whole building. We try to build an elevator which will allow a person access to every level of his personality. After all, a building with only a basement is very limited.
We want to open up the terrace where you can sun-bathe or look at the stars. Our concern is the synthesis of all areas of the personality. That means psychosynthesis is holistic, global and inclusive. It is not against psychoanalysis or even behavior modification but it insists that the needs for meaning, for higher values, for a spiritual life, are as real as biological or social needs. We deny that there are any isolated human problems.” (Sam Keen interview of Assagioli, Psychology Today, 1974)