Mandala: Completed?
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As psychology has celebrated the Decade of Behavior, it is time for a psychological celebration of the Year of the Whole Person. This paradigm shift would take the form of a new holistic perspective on psychology that brought behavior, cognition, and consciousness together in a dialectical relationship. A psychology of the whole person integrates body, mind, and psyche, and embraces a diversity of techniques and approaches to include the imaginal realm.

Clinicians appear to view the body in three distinct ways: as independent of the mind (physical body), integrated with the mind (emotional body), and as a site for symbolic representations of subtle (energetic) body. In Western culture, the body is seen as something to be controlled by the mind. Expanding the definition of body from purely somatic, to include the psychological and emotional in clinical psychology is the wave of the future. Movement from a mind-body dualism, a split reinforced by the field of mental health, toward an integrative approach in healthcare is inevitable. It is time for psychology to bring its unique contribution to healing and consciousness.

I propose an integral view to healing trauma, one that incorporates the mind, body, and psyche. Rather than a top-down or bottoms-up approach to healing, such a process might be viewed as circular, with movement connecting inner to outer, mental to physical, and all to the interactive field that is in close relationship with another (e.g., mother-child dyad, and intimate partners), or in connection with the universe.

As depth psychology collaborates with neuroscience, quantum physics, and metaphysics, disease and healing can be approached from a multi-disciplinary perspective, crossing cultural and theoretical boundaries toward a more integrated approach to wholeness. Through my work and dialogue with the various fields, I wish to encourage and promote a whole-person approach to healing disease, and offer an integral approach for psychology, including the mind, body, and psyche’s role in healing the body of mental, somatic, and emotional symptoms.

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3 Responses to “Psychology of the Whole Person”

  1. tammi says:

    Healing the whole being will result in sustainable balance and change. I agree with your article without doubt.

  2. Merry says:

    I liked your article. I’ve been following you for some time but this is my first reply. I’m currently ABD and writing it on depth psychology. Do you have any suggestions on Jungs theory of individuation or on his stages of life? Readings? Thoughts? Or interputations of these concepts would be helpful.

  3. Hi Merry, Thank you for reading the blog and commenting. I do have a list of books that can be helpful. Jung’s collected works are great read, as well as Memories, Dreams and Reflections, which is his autobiography. Edward Edinger’s “Ego and Archetype” as well as Marie-Louise Von Franz do a nice job of summarizing Jung’s writings. If you’re interested in post-Jungian work, James Hillman, Marion woodman and Donald Kalsched are great reads. Feel free to contact me further with any questions, etc. I will be glad to share my learnings with you.

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