The 7 Psychotherapy Intensives
The Chakras as a Psychological System
This course will experientially explore the chakra system, and the physiological, psychological and spiritual experience of its unfolding within the individual. We will consider the use of the chakra system as a diagnostic tool and its usefulness for the therapeutic process, particularly in decoding counter-transferential experience. Different psychotherapeutic approaches will be examined within the context of the chakra system.
The Crisis of Meaning
This course addresses the construction of meaning and the symbolic of language in developmental, existential and spiritual terms. Particular attention will be given to the process of the therapeutic relationship and the theoretical structures that support this – including attachment, self-object relations, and consideration of disturbed meaning making.
This course will consider the meaning and complexity of human suffering. Students will have the opportunity to experientially engage with the wounded healer archetype. By acknowledging different psychological levels students will address the question of how we recognise and be in relation to personality disturbance as well as acknowledging the pathology of the sublime. The experience of depression is focused upon to understand how this common affliction and usual therapeutic responses need to be contextualised within the ecological context of our world.
Quest for Wholeness
A philosophic and scientific focus on context can be thought of as reflecting a spiritual quest for wholeness. Virtual and actual realities included in an understanding of Consciousness and Will help contextualise a notion of wholeness that underpins synthesis: being distinct yet not separate. In this course, the experiential engagement with wholeness and fragmentation is approached through the dynamics around intimacy and connection, defence and protection. These are examined on one hand with particular reference to borderline phenomena and on the other through the metaphor of the quest, the lens of mythologising. Viewing an expanded sense of self has important ramifications for the way in which the therapeutic relationship is contextualised.
Exploring the Darklands: Power and Shadow
This course examines the territory identified as the shadow in historical and theological context, as well as exploring psychological phenomena such as scapegoating, repression and projection. The course requires a courageous engagement with basic unconscious motivations to do with ego aggrandisement and the manipulative fantasies of our work as therapists, so we can better discern how to manage our own shadow dynamics ethically and realistically. As Judith Herman states, “Denial, repression and dissociation operate on a social level as well as an individual level.” What does this mean for us in our bicultural nation and multicultural society?
Narcissism and Relating
Reflecting on relating patterns and experiences is one window on how will is manifesting in ourselves and in our clients. With narcissism, will is in maintaining quite distinctive relating patterns. Aetiological and existential/psychospiritual perspectives are available to us to consider these patterns. What are our own narcissistic traits and tendencies, and how do we manage when these manifest interpersonally in the therapeutic relationship and outside it? These dynamics will be explored in terms of relatedness and social acceptance.
Healing the Family Heritage
This course acknowledges that our work with individuals is situated within nested contexts – that are familial, cultural, social-political and historic. Deep patterns unfold over the decades and generations, and students will have the opportunity to work intensively with their own transgenerational patterns. This course holds a systemic focus that is grounded in Assagioli’s original vision that every individual is connected in the great web of life. Increasing attention to the transmission of intergenerational trauma is necessary if we are to withstand the pressures to forget and repress, and we can most effectively do this by paying attention to what helps build resilience, heal trauma, and supports more conscious loving connection to flourish.
Study Seminars and Supervision
These will involve both theoretical and practicum material, both as follow up to the intensives and as presentation of other relevant therapeutic areas, including:
- spirituality and psychological theory
- transference and counter-transference, and the heroic ego
- bicultural and multicultural issues and practice
- psychosynthesis and the unfolding paradigm of eco-psychology
- diagnostic context and process, and psycho-pharmacology
- trauma and the complexities of memory
- psychodynamic patterns of pathology
- psychotherapeutic strategies and techniques
- difference and space from a post-modern perspective
- identifying current metaphors of wholeness and healing
Students will be expected to make regular case presentations. The focus on working with unconscious process and managing transferential dynamics will deepen over the course.
This course provides a conceptual framework with which to develop awareness of the complex interplay of cultural beliefs, values, and expectations in the therapist-client relationship.
Ethics and Professional Issues Forum
Forum is the course component where students will attend to their professional development as ethical and thoughtful practitioners.
There will be seminars on how to understand and engage in research. Students will undertake a research project.
Group Process will be held every course module, and on the Friday of each Intensive (though not during the first 4 day Chakra Intensive). The rationale for the GPG is for participants to recognise and work with the dynamics of transference and counter-transference and to experience authentic deep encounter in I/Thou meeting. Through working with interpersonal dynamics in a group setting, participants will become more sensitised to systemic issues.