How is Transpersonal Therapy Different from Mainstream Counseling?

Transpersonal Therapy vs. Mainstream CounselingPeople often ask me how transpersonal therapy differs from mainstream counseling. It differs in three major ways: how transpersonal therapists are trained, the context in which we hold therapy, and in some cases, the techniques we use or recommend to facilitate change.

Transpersonal therapists receive training in the same mainstream psychology as other therapists that is necessary to pass licensing exams. However, we are not Read More

I Never Saw Such Eyes

The Eyes of VidehaI never saw such eyes as he had: soft, velvety, bleeding with impersonal love. When you passed Videha in the walkway, he was not like the rest of us, happily anxious to connect with a friendly face. No, Videha kept his eyes to himself.

When I lived in India for a year, one of the disciplines I practiced was Sufi whirling, the powerful method of remembrance of God danced by the whirling dervishes. Through it, I learned Read More

It’s Hard to be Creative When You’re Hungry

It's Hard to be Creative When You're HungryRemember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? I think about it a lot when I try to explain to people what Transpersonal Psychology is, or what it is that a transpersonal therapist does that is different from traditional counseling.

Maslow theorized that there is an order that human needs must be met: for example, if you’re still lacking food and shelter, it’s going to be hard to think about optimizing your creativity. You will need to concentrate on finding food first. Likewise, if you’re feeling Read More

Not Afraid of Anything Inside

Not Afraid of Anything Inside“You’re still angry with your father,” I say.

“I don’t think that will ever go away.”

“It has to, if you want to become free.”

Many people are afraid of what’s inside them. They’re afraid of silence, of being alone. Afraid of an unscheduled moment with nothing to do. If it gets too quiet, they’re stuck with the contents of their own minds. Mostly, even though they don’t consciously know it, they’re afraid of the buried feelings inside they have never dealt with.

When you have hidden stuff inside such as still being angry with your father, it may surface when something occurs reminiscent of the original trauma, such as arguing with your lover. You find yourself responding in a much bigger way than the current situation warrants because you are Read More

Let Go

Let GoOne of the most formative moments in my life was in a tantra group in India when our teacher, Radha Luglio, was asked how to open more: to more love, more sexual pleasure, more life. Her answer still rings in me: “I don’t try to open more, instead, I become aware of where I am closed.”

This is completely against how we conceive of things in the West. If something is broken, we want to fix it. If there is something we can’t do, we want to become able to do it. If we can’t speak Spanish, we will take Spanish lessons, or Read More

The Geography of Holiness

Geography of Holiness We had ridden on the motorbike an hour to get there, to the little room inside a cave in India, far off the tourist track. When Peter opened the door, it was to freezing cold air, water dripping into a tiny pond, and the tinny sounds of a cassette tape of prayers sung in Sanskrit on continuous loop. The spirit of holiness was palpable, thick from years of chanting, decades — who knows how long — in India it might be millennium. The energy quieted the mind of its chatter, and still Read More

Is There Such a Thing as Sex Addiction?

tantraSteven is remembering the active days of what he calls his sex addiction: “I was at a party and noticed this overweight, not so beautiful woman across the room who was obviously attracted to me.” He drums his fingers on the table. “I did my number on her and got her to go out to the barn behind the house where we had sex, then we went back inside to the party. Later, I remember I glanced over at her and she was crying.” He breaks eye contact and Read More

The Seven Principles for Making Relationships Work

7 Principles to Make a Happy RelationshipThe Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (Crown, 1999) is a book that I often recommend for people who are wishing to improve their relationships, married or otherwise. The author, Dr. John Gottman, actually hooked couples up to electrodes and watched what happened to their blood pressures and heart rates while they talked to each other. He found that he could predict with 91% accuracy whether their relationship was slated for the long term or headed for Read More