Psychosynthesis is a system of psychological therapy which originated in Freud’s discoveries about the unconscious mind. These discoveries were later developed by other psychoanalysts such as Klein, Kohut and Winnicott. Then in 1911 the Italian psychoanalyst Roberto Assagioli (1888 – 1974) added to this growing body of knowledge by observing that there is a ‘superconscious’ as well as a lower unconscious. Among other things, the superconscious contains the unconscious potential for development, values and creativity. In this way, psychosynthesis psychotherapy adds another dimension to psychoanalysis and becomes a model of development as well as a system of psychological therapy.
In many ways, psychosynthesis psychotherapy resembles other forms of therapy. Client and therapist meet weekly for an hour each time. The client’s childhood and history are explored, and an understanding is gained on how our early life experiences have played their part in shaping who we see ourselves to be. Beyond this, an appreciation of the client’s sense of meaning, purpose and values is also explored. Assagioli noted that without this personal sense of meaning and purpose within psychotherapy, any progress is bound to be limited. We may find meaning in personal relationships, in a particular cause, or in a spiritual path, or perhaps it is felt in nature. Occasionally there may be a crisis of meaning, when no sense of purpose or meaning is felt at all. Psychosynthesis sees all of these experiences as crucial to the overall journey of the Self through life. As self-awareness grows, a greater sense of choice, as well as direction, develops. Creativity is encouraged, and one’s relationships to self, others and life evolve meaningfully.