Transpersonal Psychology

From The SpiritWiki

Transpersonal psychology is both a Healing Framework and a Connection Framework. It is a school of psychology that studies the transpersonal, transcendent, or spiritual aspects of the human experience. Transpersonal psychology was first announced and defined with the publication of The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology in 1969.

List of Transpersonal Psychology Terms

COEX Systems, Grof, Stanislav, Past Life Memories, Perinatal Matrices, Perinatal Realm, Spiritual Emergence

List of Connection Frameworks

Arica School, Baha'i, Buddhism, Eupsychian Theory, Gnosticism, Holistic Nursing, Jainism, Karma Yoga, LP Connection Framework, Monastic Christianity, Neo-Hinduism, Sanatana Dharma, Shattari, Sufism, Taoism, The Lightning Path, Theosophy, Transpersonal Psychology, Wicca, Yoga, Zen

Related LP Terms

Transpersonal Psychology >

Non-LP Related Terms

Transpersonal Psychology > Abraham Maslow


Guided by the work of psychologists like Abraham Maslow, S. Groff, Anthony Sutich and others, this perspective was, according to the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology website, "founded on a commitment to open-ended inquiry, experiential and empirical validation, and a values-oriented approach to human experience." Lajore and Shapiro (1992: 91) describe transpersonal psychology as "the study of humanity’s highest potential, and with the recognition, understanding, and realization of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness" (Lajore and Shapiro, 1992:91). Transpersonal psychologists are interested in Connection Experiences and Connection Practices, that is “spiritual experiences, mystical states of consciousness, mindfulness and meditative practices, shamanic states, ritual, the overlap of spiritual experiences with disturbed states such as psychosis and depression… the transpersonal dimensions of interpersonal relationships” (David, 2000), spiritual self-development, Peak Experiences (Maslow, 1971), entheogen usage (Grof, 1973), and mystical experiences of living.

Perhaps more than any other area of psychology, Transpersonal psychology is culturally and theoretically diverse. Practitioners (David, 2000) cite influences ranging from western and eastern mystical systems, to shamanic systems and practice to the use of Entheogens as a significant precursor and aid to the development of their insight and practice.

Transpersonal Psychology and Entheogens

In 1973 Stanislav Grof (1973) cited the therapeutic application of Connection Supplements as a theoretical and experimental precursor to Transpersonal Psychology. His entire paper, entitled Theoretical and Empirical Basis of Transpersonal Psychology and Psychotherapy: Observations from LSD Research used his extensive clinical and therapeutic research with entheogens to provide theoretical and empirical support for transpersonal psychology. As Grof himself notes, such luminaries as Abraham Maslow, Anthony Sutich, Jim Fadiman, and Victor Frankl “all agreed that observations related to the use of psychedelic substances in psychotherapy (and to a certain degree those related to their abuse by the general population) are of utmost relevance for personality theory and clearly demonstrate the need for a new discipline.”[1]

External Links

Institute for Transpersonal Psychology

SOPHIA. Journal of the School of Spiritual Psychology

Journal of Transpersonal Psychology

The Association of Transpersonal Psychology


David, John ( (2000, Spring). We Keep Asking Ourselves, What is Transpersonal Psychology. Guidance and Counselling. 5 (3), 3-8.

Grof, Stanislav & Grof, Christina (eds) (1989). Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis (New Consciousness Reader) . Los Angeles: J.P Tarcher

Lajore, D. H. & Shapiro, S. I. (1992). Definitions of transpersonal psychology: The first twenty-three years. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. 24(1); 79-98.

Lukoff, David, Lu, Francis G. & Turner, Robert P. (1998) From Spiritual Emergency to Spiritual Problem - The Transpersonal Roots of the New DSM-IV Category. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. 38(2), pp. 21-50

Scotton, Bruce W, Chinen, Allan B. and John R. Battista, Eds. (1996) Textbook of Transpersonal Psychiatry and Psychology. New York: Basic Books

Whitney, Edward (1998) Personal Accounts: Mania as Spiritual Emergency. Psychiatric Services. 49:1547-1548, December. American Psychiatric Association


  1. Grof, Stanislav. “Theoretical and Empirical Basis of Transpersonal Psychology and Psychotherapy: Observations from LSD Research.” Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 5, no. 1 (June 1973): 15–53. p. 16.