Roberto Assagioli, a contemporary of Freud and Jung, was an Italian
Psychiatrist and pioneer in the fields of humanistic and transpersonal psychology. He founded the holistic psychological approach known as Psychosynthesis, which is still being developed today by therapists and psychologists who practice his techniques. His work emphasised the possibility of progressive integration of the personality around it's own centre or Self through the use of the will.
In Essence, there are certain things in life that we as human beings aspire to:
To relate well with others
To love and be loved.
To enjoy good health
To make decisions consciously and freely
To use our minds to the maximum potential
To be competent at work
To remain calm, even in moments of crisis
To appreciate beauty
To experience serenity and joy
In an absolutely ideal world all of these would be ours to experience on a normal ongoing basis. However we can usually achieve each of them only occasionally and some of them perhaps only briefly, before we lose our way again and are seemingly out of sync.
We constantly seem to compartmentalise parts of our personality into what are known in Psychosynthesis Psychotherapy as Sub-Personalities. These separate parts of ourselves, of which we usually have very many, can seem to work independently of each other and not always in the best, most coordinated way. For instance, in very simplistic terms: maybe a man is domineering and forceful at work, but when at home he becomes a hen-pecked husband. Of course, it would be better if he could take charge of these parts of his character and redress the balance by modifying the aggression at work and becoming more assertive at home. Another common sub-personality is the inner critic. This one represents the self-critical and judgemental part of ourselves, which tends to voice doubts, insecurities, or harsh judgements about our actions, decisions, or self-worth. It may manifest as a constant nagging voice that says things like, "You're not good enough,"You'll never succeed," or "You're making a mistake." Psychosynthesis aims to help individuals become aware of and integrate these various sub-personalities into a harmonious and balanced whole, ultimately facilitating personal growth and self-realisation.
In a psycotherapeutic setting Roberto Assagioli developed simple and effective tools to help people to move towards those ideal goals, by helping them to understand the blocks and defences that prevent them from attaining them. Assagioli's techniques enable imbalances to be gradually brought to the surface for inspection, where a realisation and understanding can take place. The client may then become aware that there are better, more mature ways to handle these uncooperative or disharmonious parts of themselves and can start to take charge and begin to integrate them into a more united, harmonious whole.
To find out more about Psychosynthesis, go to The Psychosynthesis Trust, London, uk
Frankie Sidhu is a Psychosynthesis psychotherapist practicing in Brighton, East Sussex, UK. She also conducts therapy sessions by skype. For more information, or to arrange a consultation please use this contact form.