Let’s focus mostly on therapists’ growth as human beings. I believe that such an emphasis is a new paradigm for developing mastery in psychotherapy.
Do you ever feel like there’s a barrier between what you know about how to have a good relationship, and what you actually do? How do you take what we know about the science of relationships, combine it with the wisdom of our hearts and our quest for deeper meaning, and integrate it into something practical?
Suicide has been in existence as long as self-aware consciousness has been in existence. The gift of self-aware consciousness included the capacity for humans to anticipate and understand the inevitability of their own deaths, and all gifts come with a price.
Since I began studying psychotherapy in 1966, I’ve noticed that therapists generally fall into two categories — theory-driven and practical-change driven.
There is four times the rate of depression now than in 1987. We’ve essentially been doubling the amount of depression in this country for each of the last three generations.
Even considering an increased tendency to diagnose depression now than in previous years, this emerging 21st century culture is clearly not particularly conducive to happy care-free lives.
In my book, Waking Up, I maintain that Integral psychotherapists cultivate compassion and depth of consciousness to co-create healing cultures with their clients. Depth of consciousness means understanding people within the many contexts of their lives, including the altitudes they typically inhabit on a variety of developmental lines like the self, interpersonal, parenting, morals, psychosexual, and integration-of-defenses lines. With deeper consciousness in my clients and myself comes felt responsibilities to help all those contexts, but with varying degrees of urgency.
I’ve looked with interest at the rise of coaching as a discipline over the last twenty-five years. I love the movement and admire all the men and women who are called to help others in their lives. People are by nature social, and everything we do, any developmental progress we make, involves intimate connections with other people, and we all do better with wise guidance.
Integral theory is a meta-theory that creates a scaffolding within which all other theories are organized. Integral psychotherapy is any therapy that takes into account a global understanding of the Kosmos. Objective/subjective, individual/collective, states of consciousness, lines of development, stages of development, spiritual/temporal, and types of individuals are core dimensions of Integral understanding. Any healing approach that practically utilizes these perspectives as cross-validating, mutually influencing forces is by definition Integral psychotherapy.