Often referenced as the fourth force of psychology (the previous three being behaviorism, psychodynamism, and humanism), transpersonal theory refers to the intellectual movement and its attendant therapeutic praxes that attempt to redress the perspectival imbalance of its predecessors by integrating the insights of the world’s wisdom traditions with the psychological concepts, theories, and methods of the West. Whereas traditional theoretical orientations tend toward the reductive end of the interpretive continuum, transpersonal psychology seeks to include within its purview those regions of the human experience overlooked and unexplored (or utterly reduced/collapsed) by other models. These “higher” states – for curiously, the lower ones are only rarely engaged – are the primary domains with which it is concerned. Transpersonal psychologists are explicit in their mission to unite under one rubric both psychology andreligion, or, more accurately, psychology and spirituality, however,...
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