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Transcendence therapy is a form of psychotherapy that aims to help clients overcome their psychological problems by accessing a higher level of consciousness. The concept of transcendence therapy was developed by Abraham Maslow, who proposed that human beings have a hierarchy of needs, and that the highest need is Self-actualization, or the realization of one’s full potential. Maslow also suggested that some people experience Peak experiences, or moments of intense joy, creativity, or Insight, that transcend their ordinary Sense of self and reality.
Transcendence therapy is based on the idea that Peak experiences can be induced and cultivated through various techniques, such as meditation, hypnosis, music, art, or nature. By facilitating these experiences, transcendence therapy helps clients to expand their Awareness, enhance their wellbeing, and discover their true Purpose and Meaning in life. Transcendence therapy also helps clients to cope with their existential issues, such as death, loneliness, freedom, and responsibility, by providing them with a broader Perspective and a deeper Connection to themselves and others.
Examples of transcendence therapy in action
Transcendence therapy has been used in the field of mental health for various purposes and populations. Some examples are:
- Treating Depression and Anxiety by increasing Positive emotions and reducing negative thoughts.
- Enhancing creativity and problem-solving skills by stimulating the right hemisphere of the brain and accessing the subconscious mind.
- Promoting Spiritual growth and development by exploring one’s values, beliefs, and identity.
- Supporting recovery from addiction and Trauma by fostering a sense of hope, resilience, and empowerment.
- Improving physical health and well-being by reducing Stress and enhancing immune system functioning.
Transcendence therapy is not a fixed or standardized approach, but rather a flexible and individualized one that adapts to the needs and preferences of each client. Transcendence therapy can be integrated with other forms of psychotherapy, such as Cognitive-behavioural therapy, humanistic therapy, or psychodynamic therapy. It can also be practised in different settings and formats, such as individual or group sessions, online or in-person sessions, or short-term or long-term interventions.
Jungian-based transcendence therapy
Following over 15 years of psychotherapy and transcendence research, we have compiled our knowledge into a psychotherapeutic model based on Jungian psychology. This model is generic and could be applied to anyone seeking to achieve self-transcendent personal Individuation. Our comprehensive guide to Jungian-based transcendence therapy fully documents the themes, methods and implementation of this transcendence therapy, allowing any individual or Therapist to begin working on their Self-transcendence via Jung’s Individuation model.
Transcendence therapy for schizophrenia
Transcendence therapy for Schizophrenia is an innovative and new proposal by Self-transcendence Research for the treatment and transcendence of individuals with schizophrenia. It combines the concepts of the Trauma theory of schizophrenia, transcendence theory and Jungian-based psychoanalysis to provide an Integrative approach which seeks to allow the Therapist to help individuals with schizophrenia to transcend their illness through a process of self-actualisation and transcendence.
The Nursing Theory of Self-transcendence
The nursing theory of Self-transcendence is a middle-range theory that was developed by Pamela Reed to explain how people cope with life-changing events and enhance their well-being. According to this theory, Self-transcendence is a human capacity to expand personal Boundaries in various ways, such as intrapersonally, interpersonally, transpersonally, and temporally.
Self-transcendence allows people to connect with themselves, others, nature, and a larger Purpose or Meaning beyond the self. Self-transcendence also mediates the relationship between vulnerability and wellbeing, Meaning that people who experience increased vulnerability due to ageing, illness, loss, or other challenges can benefit from Self-transcendence activities that foster positive outcomes.
The theory also identifies personal and Contextual factors that influence Self-transcendence, such as developmental stage, personality, culture, Spirituality, and nursing interventions. The theory of Self-transcendence has been applied to various populations and settings in nursing practice and research, such as older adults, caregivers, end-of-life Care, mental health, and chronic illness.
Case study examples
Here are some examples of case studies that illustrate the application of this theory in nursing practice:
A 65-year-old woman with terminal breast cancer was admitted to a hospice unit. She had a history of Depression and Anxiety and felt hopeless about her situation. Furthermore, the nurse used the Self-transcendence theory to guide her interventions. She encouraged the patient to express her feelings and concerns, to recall positive memories and achievements, and to identify sources of Meaning and Purpose in her life.
She also facilitated the patient’s contact with her family, friends, and spiritual advisor. The nurse observed that the patient gradually became more peaceful, hopeful, and accepting of her condition. She also reported feeling less Pain and more comfort. She also expressed Gratitude for the Care she received and the relationships she had.
Spinal cord injury
A 40-year-old man with a spinal cord injury was transferred to a rehabilitation centre. He had lost his ability to walk and perform many activities of daily living. He felt angry, frustrated, and isolated. Furthermore, he refused to participate in any therapy or social activities. The nurse used the Self-transcendence theory to guide her interventions. In addition, she established a trusting relationship with the patient and acknowledged his feelings and challenges.
The nurse helped him to recognize his strengths and abilities and to set realistic goals for his recovery. Not only that, but she also encouraged him to explore his hobbies and interests and to connect with other patients with similar conditions. The nurse observed that the patient gradually became more motivated, engaged, and optimistic. Furthermore, he reported feeling more confident and independent. He also expressed Satisfaction with his progress and appreciation for the support he received.
A 50-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis was admitted to a long-term Care facility. She had progressive Cognitive and physical impairments that limited her functioning and Quality of life. She felt depressed, lonely, and worthless. The nurse used the Self-transcendence theory to guide her interventions. She respected the patient’s preferences and needs and provided individualized Care.
The nurse helped her to maintain her dignity and identity by addressing her personal hygiene, grooming, and clothing. Furthermore, she also stimulated her Cognitive abilities by engaging her in reminiscence, music, art, and games. The nurse observed that the patient gradually became more alert, cheerful, and sociable. She reported feeling more valued and respected. She also expressed enjoyment of the activities and interactions she had.
Transcendence theory has helped in social Care by providing a framework for understanding and supporting the wellbeing of clients who face various difficulties, such as chronic illness, disability, Trauma, or loss. By helping clients to identify and pursue their values, goals, and strengths, social Care workers can facilitate their transcendence process and enhance their Quality of life.
Here are some links for further research into transcendence therapy in nursing:
Pamela Reed’s Theory Of Self-transcendence – Psych-mental health club
Self-transcendence Theory – Nursology
Self-transcendence Theory by Pamela G. Reed – StudyCorgi
Transcendence Therapy for mental illness
Transcendence therapy uses various forms of psychological interventions that aim to help individuals with mental illnesses access and cultivate experiences of transcendence. It can also be defined as the act of going beyond the ordinary limits of one’s self, reality, or situation. Transcendence can involve suspending disbelief, being moved or inspired, surrendering oneself, and identifying within a larger context or community. Transcendence can promote mental health by enhancing growth, creativity, Altruism, Meaning, and coping.
Practical examples of use in therapy
One example of transcendence therapy is transcendental meditation (TM), which involves sitting with eyes closed for 15–20 minutes twice a day while repeating a Mantra. TM has been shown to alter the brain activity and structure in ways that may reduce Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Another example of transcendence therapy is spiritual psychotherapy, which integrates religious or spiritual beliefs and practices into the therapeutic process. Spiritual psychotherapy can help patients address existential questions, find Purpose and hope, and connect with a higher power or a supportive community.
Challenges and risks
Transcendence therapy is not without challenges or risks. Some patients may have difficulty engaging in transcendent experiences due to Depression, Trauma, or Cognitive impairment. In addition, some patients may misuse or distort transcendent experiences to avoid reality, justify harmful behaviours, or succumb to social pressure.
Some patients may experience conflicts between their transcendent beliefs and their scientific or rational world-view. Therefore, clinicians who use transcendence therapy need to be sensitive to the individual needs, preferences, and backgrounds of their patients, and help them balance transcendent and immanent perspectives on their mental health.
Here are some links to pages discussing transcendence therapy for mental illness:
Transcendence therapy for Peak experience
Transcendence therapy can be used to help individuals achieve Peak experience, which is a state of intense joy, creativity, and fulfilment. Peak experience is often associated with the concept of Self-actualization, which is the realization of one’s full potential and Purpose in life. Transcendence therapy is based on the premise that human beings have an innate drive to transcend their limitations and reach higher levels of consciousness and Awareness.
By facilitating Peak experience, transcendence therapy can help individuals overcome their Negative emotions and beliefs, and discover new meanings and values in their lives. Transcendence therapy can also enhance individuals’ creativity, productivity, and wellbeing.
The goal of these techniques is to induce altered states of consciousness that can facilitate Peak experience. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather a personalized and flexible process that depends on the individual’s needs, preferences, and goals. This therapy can be done individually or in groups, and can be integrated with other forms of psychotherapy or Counselling.
Here are some links related to transcendence theory and Peak experience:
MUSIC-ELICITED Peak experiences OF MUSIC THERAPISTS – Barcelon Publishers
RELIGIONS, VALUES, AND PEAK-EXPERIENCES – atpweg.org
Of angels and other spiritual powers-Orientation in Peak experiences – researchgate.org