Approaches to Psychotherapy Essay

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1 This paper will illustrate my understanding of the central beliefs of four major counselling and psychotherapy models; it highlights their similarities and differences and aspects of the approaches that I disagree with, as well as my impressions of these approaches in my personal therapy and life experience. The four approaches I will be looking at are the Transpersonal Approach, Carl Roger’s Person-Centred Approach, Gestalt and Jung’s Analytical Psychology. The latter was influenced from what is regarded as the ‘first force of psychology, whilst the person-centred and Gestalt are regarded as being influenced from the ‘third force’ of psychology; whilst the Transpersonal is the ‘fourth force’. Some pioneering theorists of transpersonal psychology are James Williams, Stanislav Grof, Abraham Maslow – who first used the term in his writings and Roberto Assagioli and Ken Wilber, to name a few. Transpersonal psychology is a positive psychology closely associated with humanistic psychology, which also integrates some aspects from the other psychological schools of thought; however, it is unique in that it bridges the gap between spirituality and psychology. As Rowan comments it is, “If we think of psychotherapy as a bridge between psychology and spirituality, this may be a good starting point’ (Rowan, 2008, .p. 3). The metaphor of the bridge as the link between psychology and spirituality is achieved by blending and utilising principles derived from Eastern and other spiritual world views, esoteric philosophies and healing modalities as well as Western psychological perspectives. These models are used in the process of personal growth and development to address healing of the mind, overcoming crisis or attaining realisation of the Self. However, transpersonal psychology does not adhere to any particular religious point of view but rather attempts to gain an
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