Transpersonal Psychology

As a branch and extension of positive and humanistic psychologies, transpersonal psychology was started by Abraham Maslow, developer of the ‘human hierarchy of needs’ and one of the seminal figures in the development of humanistic psychology. (The word transpersonal means to include and go beyond the personal). Transpersonal psychology builds on the first three schools of psychology. These are: (i) psychodynamic - focuses on the unconscious and early life experiences and their impact on personality and human development; (ii) behaviorism - focuses on learning and conditioning in shaping behavior; and (iii) positive, existential-humanistic - focuses on self-actualization, personal freedom, creativity, purpose and meaning in life. Transpersonal approaches incorporate these schools of psychology and extend them beyond the study of pathology and mental illness to the study of ultimate human potential.