Context by Stacey Millichamp
In this chapter I will set the scene for the far more focused analysis which follows. I intend to do this by looking at the historical context in which Assagioli conducted his study and development of psychosynthesis theory and beginning to assess how the changing scientific and social climate right now may possibly impact our theories of the Self.
When reflecting on the purpose of this chapter, I asked myself what would be beneficial about examining the historical context of Assagioli’s function. In answer to this I turn to Amy Mindell who writes eloquently in her book Metaskills about how our attitudes impact our customers more than our actual tactics, or even which school we have trained in. ‘By looking at these simple beliefs and feelings of the therapist we are confronting the really ground of psychotherapy – the mother, the earth, from which it springs the container which holds and produces all other capabilities.’ (1995.P27).
In questioning myself on the relevance of an interrelated world view on the clinical relationship, I have found Amy’s ideas really beneficial in addressing the subtlety of presence and the impact of our most fundamental world views and values on our presence with our clients. If presence is 1 of the determining components of the good quality of our function, then I feel that it would be valuable to address the world views that psychosynthesis may contain inside its theories and which I might also have as a therapist inside the present culture.
I wanted to search a little below the definitions of Self I have learned in my psychosynthesis training to discover what may possibly be implicit in Assagioli’s approach. He has published very small of his own writing and I feel, for that reason, that I may possibly benefit from assessing the influences around him to acquire some suggestion of his beliefs and how they are passed on in the training of therapists within the psychosynthesis tradition. I draw largely from Jean Hardy’s book A Psychology with a Soul for this background data.