Advertisement

Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 58, Issue 6, pp 2175–2194 | Cite as

The Altered States of Consciousness in Transpersonal Approach Psychotherapy: Systematic Review and Guidelines for Research and Clinical Practice

  • Milena Nardini-BubolsEmail author
  • Daniele Silva da Silva
  • Andrea dos Santos-Silva
  • Olivia Kacey Stagnaro
  • Tatiana Quarti Irigaray
  • Letícia Oliveira Alminhana
Original Paper
  • 103 Downloads

Abstract

Transpersonal approach in psychotherapy is a controversial field, and there is a lack in scientific information. A search of Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, PsycINFO and SciELO databases using: [“Altered states of consciousness” AND “Psychotherapy”] and [“Transpersonal” AND “Psychotherapy”] in December 2017 was conducted. From 629 articles found, 14 empirical studies were analyzed. Studies were conducted with adults, most of them women. The benefits were improvement in the treatment of substance use disorder; increased sensation of relaxation, relief of physical pain. Future studies should have rigorous experimental designs; define concepts clearly; detail the method used; present clear guidelines for the ethical boundaries.

Keywords

Altered states of consciousness Transpersonal psychology Psychotherapy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was financed in part by CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de pessoal de Nível Superior)—Brazil—Finance Code 001.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

References

  1. Acciari, A. S., Leão, F. C., Rodriguês, C. S., Leal, R. F., Corrêa, C., Saldanha, V., et al. (2015). Effects of transpersonal brief psychotherapy on general state of health and quality of life in patients with Crohn’s disease. Journal of Coloproctology,35(3), 162–167.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcol.2015.06.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ankrah, L. (2002). Spiritual emergency and counselling: An exploratory study. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research,2(1), 55–60.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14733140212331384988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Assagioli, R. (2013). Psicossíntese: as bases da psicologia moderna e transpessoal (A. Cabral, Trans.) (2nd ed.). São Paulo, SP: Cultrix.Google Scholar
  4. Banks, W. P. (Ed.). (2009). Encyclopedia of consciousness (Vol. 1–2, pp. 1–1005). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  5. Benoff-Nadel, P. (2011). Hypnosis within a psychospiritual approach in the case of a woman diagnosed with dystonia. Explore,7(5), 326–328.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2011.06.009.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Berchik, Z. E., Rock, A. J., & Friedman, H. (2016). Allow me to introduce my selves: An introduction to and phenomenological study of voice dialogue therapy. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology,48(1), 88–112.Google Scholar
  7. Brewerton, T. D., Eyerman, J. E., Cappetta, P., & Mithoefer, M. C. (2012). Long-term abstinence following holotropic breathwork as adjunctive treatment of substance use disorders and related psychiatric comorbidity. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction,10(3), 453–459.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-011-9352-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buckley, P., & Galanter, M. (1979). Altered states of consciousness during psychotherapy: A historical and cultural perspective. International Journal of Society of Psychiatry,25(2), 118–124.  https://doi.org/10.1177/002076407902500207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Campos, R. F. (2006). Ética Contemporânea: os anos 60 e o projeto de Psicologia Humanista. Epistemo-somática,3(2), 242–260.Google Scholar
  10. Cardeña, E., Lynn, S. J., & Krippner, S. (Eds.). (2000). Varieties of anomalous experience: Examining the scientific evidence. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  11. Chester, S., Tyack, Z., De Young, A., Kipping, B., Griffin, B., Stockton, K., et al. (2018). The efficacy of hypnosis on pain, wound healing, anxiety and stress in children with acute burn injuries: A randomized controlled trial. Pain-Journal of International Association for the Study of Pain,159(9), 1790–1801.  https://doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chow, W. M., Wooten, H. R., & Leonard, H. T. (2008). Breathwork and couple relationships: A qualitative investigation. Journal of Heart-Centered Therapies,11(1), 91–112.Google Scholar
  13. Conti, S. R. (2017). Imaginação Ativa e Imaginação Dirigida na Clínica Junguiana. Master dissertation. https://tede2.pucsp.br/handle/handle/19713. Accessed 18 March 2018.
  14. Dalgalarrondo, P. (2018). Psicopatologia e Semiologia dos Transtornos Mentais (3rd ed.). Porto Alegre, RS: Artmed.Google Scholar
  15. Daniels, M. (2015). Traditional roots, history, and evolution of the transpersonal perspective. In H. L. Friedman & G. Hartelius (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell handbook of transpersonal psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  16. Flor-Henry, P., Shapiro, Y., & Sombrun, C. (2017). Brain changes during a shamanic trance: Altered modes of consciousness, hemispheric laterality, and systemic psychobiology. Cogent Pshychology,4(1), 1313522.  https://doi.org/10.1080/23311908.2017.1313.522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Garcia-Romeo, A., & Tart, C. T. (2015). Altered states of consciousness and transpersonal psychology. In H. L. Friedman & G. Hartelius (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell handbook of transpersonal psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  18. Grof, S., & Grof, C. (2011). Respiração Holotrópica: uma nova abordagem de autoexploração e terapia (1st ed.). São Paulo: Capivara.Google Scholar
  19. Hartelius, G., Rothe, G., & Roy, P. J. (2015). A brand from the burning: Defining transpersonal psychology. In H. L. Friedman & G. Hartelius (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell handbook of transpersonal psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  20. Holmes, S. W., Morris, R., Clance, P. R., & Putney, R. T. (1996). Holotropic breathwork: An experiential approach to psychotherapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training,33(1), 114–120.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-3204.33.1.114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hunger, C., & Rittner, S. (2015). Ritual body postures: Empirical study of a neurophysiological unique altered state of consciousness. The Humanistic Psychologist,43(4), 371–374.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08873267.2015.1047933.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jadad, A. R., Moore, R. A., Carroll, D., Jenkinson, C., Reynolds, D. J. M., Gavaghan, D. J., et al. (1996). Assessing the quality of reports of randomized clinical trials: Is blinding necessary? Controlled Clinical Trials,17(1), 1–12.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0197-2456(95)00134-4.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Jilek, G. W. (2005). Transforming the shaman: Changing western views of shamanism and altered states of consciousness. Investigación em Salud,7(1), 8–15.Google Scholar
  24. Kaklauskas, F. J., & Clements, C. J. (2016). Expanding empathy in our clinical work: A response to wickramasekera. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis,58(3), 298–303.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00029157.2015.1101678.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Kokoszka, A. (1988). An integrated model of the main states of consciousness. Imagination, Cognition and Personality,7(3), 285–294.  https://doi.org/10.2190/2b3u-fj1x-xc5w-6mrv.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lalande, L., Bambling, M., King, R., & Lowe, R. (2012). Breathwork: An additional treatment option for depression and anxiety? Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy,42(2), 113–119.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-011-9180-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lombard, C. A. (2017). Psychosynthesis: A foundational bridge between psychology and spirituality. Pastoral Psychology,66(4), 461–485.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11089-017-0753-5.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Lucchetti, G., Granero, A. L., Bassi, R. M., Latorraca, R., & Nacif, S. A. P. (2010). Espiritualidade na prática clínica: o que o clínico deve saber? Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Clínica Médica,8(2), 154–158.Google Scholar
  29. Ludwig, M. A. (1966). Altered states of consciousness. Archives of General Psychiatry,15, 225–234.  https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730150001001.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Matthews, W. J. (2000). Ericksonian approaches to hypnosis and therapy: Where are we now? International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis,48(4), 418–426.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00207140008410370.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Miller, T., & Nielsen, L. (2015). Measure of significance of holotropic breathwork in the development of self-awareness. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,21(12), 796–803.  https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2014.0297.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Milling, L. S., Gover, M. C., & Moriarty, C. L. (2018). The effectiveness of hypnosis as an intervention for obesity: A meta-analytic review. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice,5(1), 29–45.  https://doi.org/10.1037/cns0000139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., & Altman, D. G. (2009). Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: The PRISMA statement. Annals of Internal Medicine,151(4), 264–269.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed1000097.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Moreira-Almeida, A., Sharma, A., Rensburg, B. J. V., Verhagen, P. J., & Cook, C. C. H. (2016). WPA position statement on spirituality and religion in psychiatry. World Psychiatry,15(1), 87–88.  https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20304.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  35. Pekala, R. J. (2015). Hypnosis as a “state of consciousness”: How quantifying the mind can help us better understand hypnosis. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis,57(4), 402–424.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00029157.2015.1011480.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Pekala, J. P., & Cardeña, E. (2013). Variedades da Experiência Anômala: Análise de Evidências. In E. Cardeña, J. S Lynn, & S. Krippner (Orgs). Questões metodológicas no estudo dos estados alterados de consciência e das experiências anômalas (pp. 35–57) (F. R. Machado, Trans.). São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte: Atheneu.Google Scholar
  37. Pyka, M., Burgmer, M., Lenzen, T., Pioch, R., Dannlowski, U., Pfleiderer, B., et al. (2011). Brain correlates of hypnotic paralysis—A resting-state fMRI study. NeuroImage,56(4), 2173–2182.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.03.078.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Rabeyron, T., & Loose, T. (2015). Anomalous experiences, trauma, and symbolization processes at the frontiers between psychoanalysis and cognitive neurosciences. Frontiers in Psychology,6, 1926.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01926.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Rhinewine, J. P., & Williams, O. J. (2007). Holotropic breathwork: The potential role of a prolonged, voluntary hyperventilation procedure as an adjunct to psychotherapy. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,13(7), 771–776.  https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2006.6203.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Saldanha, V. (1999). A Psicoterapia Transpessoal (1st ed.). São Paulo: Rosa dos Tempos.Google Scholar
  41. Saldanha, V. (2008). Psicologia Transpessoal: abordagem integrativa um conhecimento emergente em psicologia da consciência (1st ed.). Ijuí: Unijuí.Google Scholar
  42. Shalit, R. (2012). Efficiency of psychotherapy involving altered states of consciousness: A call to reconsider our spiritual stance at the clinic. International Body Psychotherapy Journal: The Art and Science of Somatic Praxis,11(2), 7–23.Google Scholar
  43. Siegel, I. R. (2013). Therapist as a container for spiritual resonance and client transformation in transpersonal psychotherapy: An exploratory heuristic study. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology,45(1), 49–74.Google Scholar
  44. Silverman, J. (1968). A paradigm for the study of altered states of consciousness. The British Journal of Psychiatry,114(515), 1201–1218.  https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.114.515.1201.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Simões, M. (2002). Altered states of consciousness and psychotherapy: A cross-cultural perspective. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies,21(1), 145–152.  https://doi.org/10.24972/ijts.2002.21.1.145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tart, C. T. (1972). Scientific foundations for the study of altered states of consciousness. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology,3(2), 93–124.Google Scholar
  47. Tzu, G., Bannerman, B., & Hill, N. (2017). From grey nothingness to holistic healing: A non-dual approach to the treatment of burnout. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction,15(3), 652–669.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-016-9701-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tzu, G., Bannerman, B., & McCallans, K. (2016). Novices come home to non-dual being: A transpersonal, existential, phenomenological analysis. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction,14(4), 483–504.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-015-9600-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ustinova, Y. (2011). Consciousness alteration practices in the West from prehistory to late antiquity. Altering consciousness: Multidisciplinary perspectives, 1, 45–72.Google Scholar
  50. Vailt, D., Jamieson, J. G. G., Lehmann, D., Ott, U., Sammer, G., Strehl, U., et al. (2005). Psychobiology of altered states of consciousness. Psychological Bulletin,131(1), 98–127.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.131.1.98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Vietten, C., & Scammell, S. (2015). Spiritual and religious competencies in clinical practice: Guidelines for psychotherapists & mental health professionals. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.Google Scholar
  52. Watkins, J. G., & Watkins, H. H. (1997). Ego states: Theory and therapy. New York, NY: W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  53. Wesson, D. R. (2011). Psychedelic drugs, hippie counterculture, speed and phenobarbital treatment of sedative-hypnotic dependence: A journey to the Haight Ashbury in the sixties. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs,43(2), 153–164.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02791072.2011.587708.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Woods, K., & Baruss, I. (2004). Experimental test of possible psychological benefits of past-life regression. Journal of Scientific Exploration,18(40), 597–608.Google Scholar
  55. Young, J. S., Cashwell, C. S., & Giordano, A. L. (2010). Breathwork as a therapeutic modality: An overview for counselors. Counseling and Values,55(1), 113–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Friedman, H. (2002). Transpersonal psychology as a scientific field. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, 21, 175–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Moustakas, C. (1990). Heuristic research: Design, methodology, and applications. Sage Publications.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduation Program of PsychologyPontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul/PUCRS/BRPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Graduation Program of PsychologySanta Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

Personalised recommendations