What is Psychosynthesis?

The individual is not fixed and immutable but in a continual state of becoming.

-Roberto Assagioli

Open Oyster Shell With Pearl

Psychosynthesis was conceived and developed by the Italian psychiatrist, Roberto Assagioli, a colleague of Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung. As the name suggests, the aim of this model of psychology is to enable a person to move closer to a healthy ‘synthesis’ or balanced integration of all aspects of their being: body, feelings and mind.

From the psychosynthesis perspective, we are not parts of a machine needing to be fixed to function in the world. Rather, we are beings who evolve, who never cease to grow and transform. In this context, our difficulties, while undeniably painful, may be viewed as growing pains, as challenges to evolve into a more aware and so healthier phase of life, and, most importantly, one that feels more authentic, purposeful and meaningful.

Behaviours in response to past experience and, in certain cases, trauma, which served to protect us well at the time, tend to become automatic unconscious habits which continue long after they have served their purpose, and, in time, actually obstruct our capacity to grow and mature. Change, for many, is difficult but inescapable. It takes many forms, each bringing its own challenges and aggravations. But aggravation, like grit to the oyster, creates a pearl. A mark of Assagioli’s work is his guidance on how we develop a capacity to make choices and work with the challenges; how we learn to manage our will.

There can be much excitement and adventure in the invitation to grow. Working with the creative faculties, honouring and facilitating that which is struggling to emerge, to take shape in varied and wonderful forms in the life of a unique individual; this is the hallmark of psychosynthesis.

Institute of Psychosynthesis