THE BLOG

Does Psychotherapy Need a Facelift?

12/11/2014 09:24 GMT | Updated 11/01/2015 10:59 GMT

I believe it does. I am a Psychotherapist. My aim is to help individuals attain a greater sense of inner peace and I get to glimpse (very personally), into the lives of others on a daily basis. I observe their pain and obstacles, and in many cases during the process of therapy, I also witness the beginnings of a shift in their consciousness.

I have found that sometimes using the tools and techniques that I have been trained to use are enough to help a client with their issues. But, I have also observed in some cases that these approaches alone are not enough to help with emotional healing. It's almost as if the client feels that there's a deeper purpose to life - something they can feel but yet are not able to describe, an inner yearning or even emptiness at times, that they can't quite comprehend.

It's not that these un-named feelings or concepts have not been addressed in the previous psychological theories, but in my opinion, it's rather a case that they are not always fully understood or considered, and this is because they have (what some may refer to as), a mystical element to them. Jung for example, claimed that the collective unconscious is common to us all, and is not something that we develop, but instead is something that we inherit. According to Jung, the collective unconscious includes the totality of human history that we all have access to and contains archetypes and universal ideas.

Similarly, Maslow is perhaps best known for his hierarchy of needs; however, not many people speak about his notion of peak experiences. These were regarded as mystical illuminations, transcendent experiences or revelations. Considering that Maslow's theory has largely contributed to what we call the humanistic approach today, it is surprising to see that not much is spoken about these mystical experiences.

There is a place for traditional psychotherapy and it has some good uses; but like traditional allopathic medicine, it operates in a Newtonian-science-like way. It looks at the causes and effects and aims to promote emotional healing via the mind alone. However, I have come to realise that there is a deeper dimension to healing, and further research into this area has highlighted that many of the Greats in fields such as psychology and quantum physics, had too come to the same realisation.

Therefore I believe the time has come that we begin to view psychotherapy with fresh eyes. I am not saying that we disregard the traditional psychotherapeutic methods, but rather that we build upon them. At a time where psychology, mysticism and science are beginning to meet, I think it's time that psychotherapy had a facelift.