Throughout the ages human beings have asked the same fundamental question: “Who am I?” All world’s religions reply to the question with the answer “a spiritual being, a soul” and offer various religious practices to develop this identity. Meanwhile, all earlier schools of psychology (psychoanalysis, behaviorism, and humanistic psychology) give the answer “an existential being, a self” and present a variety of psychotherapies to heal and grow this self. Transpersonal psychology is the field of psychology that attempts to integrate both points of view and reconcile psychological theories and methods with the ideas and practices of the spiritual disciplines. Transpersonal psychology is not a religion or a spiritual system; yet, it is a step toward a contemporary spirituality. The discipline has moved from using psychology as a tool for self-regulation and self-exploration to using it for psycho-spiritual growth and self-transcendence.

The root of the term, transpersonal or “beyond the personal,” refers to going beyond the notion of the individual as an isolated person. Transpersonal psychology is based on non-duality, the recognition that the person is not an isolated monad but, rather, is fundamentally a part of the cosmos and is profoundly interconnected with various aspects of the Universe. Two other central concepts of transpersonal psychology are optimal mental health and self-transcendence. The main interests of transpersonal psychology are transpersonal development and spiritual growth, non-ordinary states of consciousness (spiritual and transcendental experiences, mystical and shamanic states, out-of body and near-death experiences), psycho-spiritual problems, and mindfulness (an attentive awareness of the reality of the present moment).

The integral practices of transpersonal therapy are meditation, prayer, ritual, encounter groups, philosophical inquiry, contemplation, journaling, sacramental use of psychedelics, visualization, lucid dreaming, and transpersonal uses of music and expressive art. These transpersonal practices help us to disidentify the Self from our egos, to facilitate an expanded awareness and better self-integration, to bring us a profound sense of presence and a greater degree of self-transcendence, to accelerate our psychological development and spiritual growth, and lead us to improved connections with each other, with the Earth, and with the Universe. We, at the Kolp Institute, have incorporated all of the listed transpersonal modalities and techniques into our WELL Program .