Here come some quotes from Assagioli about the definition of psychosynthesis psychotherapy (see also Jung and Psychosynthesis):
“Criteria of Psychosynthesis Therapy
The criteria which are characteristic of psychosynthetic therapy and which distinguish it in a certain measure from other psychological conceptions and psychotherapies are implicit, and can easily be recognised, in the preceding general exposition. They also emerge clearly from the comparison between the psychosynthetic and the Jungian therapies in the pamphlet Jung and Psychosynthesis.
I shall, therefore, limit myself to emphasizing the following basic criteria’s:
- Inclusion of the body in the integration of the personality (Bio-Psychosynthesis).
Psychosomatic medicine has given, and is giving more and more, ample proof of the constant interaction between biological and psychological conditions and factors. Therefore a synthetic therapy must include the use of a number of psychological techniques such as:
Relaxation, autogenous training, neuro-muscular training and co-ordination through free and rhythmical movements (dance). Physical games, sports, individually and in groups, etc.
- Utilisation of all the energies of the individual, both those already active and those released in the course of the treatment. Constructive use of them may be made by direct expression, but it often requires their transformation and sublimation. In psychosynthetic therapy, specific techniques are employed for this purpose.
- Encouraging and promoting the awakening, or the acceptance of the superconscious, transpersonal energies, tendencies and activities (peak-realization, or more exactly realisation of the Self, as the living and willing Center of the individual; and of its relationship with the trans-individual, universal Self.
This can be called the growth along a new dimension of awareness ad Being. Psychosynthesis offers exercises which have proved effective for this purpose (Exercise of Dis-identification and Self-identification – Exercise of the Rose, etc. )
- Interpersonal relationships between therapist and patient. In psychosynthetic therapy these are not confine to the transfer (in its strict sense) and its elimination, but include:
the specific relationship created by the “therapeutic situation” in which the therapist assumes a “fatherly” role, or that of counsellor and guide.
b. A more general, positive human relation, which gradually develops from the former, as the patient grows into a nature and independent attitude and position in life.
- Utmost cooperation of the patient with the treatment, through teaching of, and training in, the use of a large number of active techniques and exercises. In many cases this enables the patient to complete the cure itself, with gradually decreasing supervision by the therapist and finally without it.
Helping the patient to adjust and expand his interpersonal and social relationships, to integrate himself into the various groups and communities which form the organism of humanity. This is a necessary but very difficult task, because of the present chaotic and really diseased condition of the organism of humanity. At present, mere conforming to a settled social life is either impossible or entails the suppression of some of the more genuine urges and needs of the individual. This conflict between the individual and society is given such consideration in psychosynthesis therapy, which aims to establish the best possible adjustment under the present circumstances.”
(Criteria of Psychosynthesis Therapy, Assagioli Archive Florence)
“Psychosynthesis does not seek to draw into the waking consciousness all the little traumas and special incidents of the past nor does it stop to analyse in detail and at length numerous dreams. It encourages, and even demands, active and growing cooperation; and it can and should be continued and (as far as possible) be completed by the student himself, as soon as he has gained a good grasp of its principles, learned its techniques and acquire a certain skill in using them.” (Didactic Psychosynthesis, Assagioli Archive Florence)