‘Touching the Edges’ - a reflection on the Essentials of Psychosynthesis Course from Charlotte Thompson
Psychosynthesis found me. I had been through a particularly tough time in my personal life and was basically bed-ridden with crippling anxiety and bouts of depression. I could see no future and had zero motivation to do anything about it; I was just existing. This was 5 years ago. When I look back now I can hardly recognise that person. I was totally removed from who “I” am and disconnected from the world around me. I am very lucky to be from a family who have a history within the ‘therapeutic’ world; my late grandmother was a pioneer in movement therapy. Through one of her close contacts I was put in touch with a Psychosynthesis therapist. That was when I began to wake up.
The way in which my therapist works with me is like nothing I have come across before, but it feels right. I am recognised as more than my problems, which has enabled me to move towards change. Much has transformed my life over the last 5 years. Most significant has been re-gaining control of my situation, while allowing the natural flow of life to happen without resistance. Through sometimes difficult memory work and looking at my core potential, I have been guided to identify different aspects of my psyche. Where I once felt hopeless and ‘doomed’ to exist in one way, I now feel positive about my future and less bound by limiting beliefs. It has taken time, but I have learned to embrace those parts of myself that I once despised. This has brought about significant self-empowerment.
I always knew that I wanted my work to have meaning, but I wasn’t ready until now. I am a creative and have spent the last 10 years drifting between various modalities. I am passionate about design but desired more depth and meaning to integrate into my work. This has been my main drive to learn and experience more of this wonderful Psychosynthesis stuff! My therapist has recommended the Essentials course to me for several years, but I had resisted until now. I felt a fire in my belly and I knew it was the time for me to allow this 4 day process to reveal what I needed.
I arrived on the first morning full of anticipation, excitement, nerves. The ‘me’ of 5 years ago could barely leave the house, let alone travel alone into the unknown. But I was here and I was doing it! I was immediately greeted by a warm friendly face and ushered downstairs to the ‘lounge’ area. There was tension in the air, but the space was calm and I pretty much instantly felt at home. My nerves quickly dissipated and I was immersed. The group was a wonderful mix of diverse backgrounds and life experiences. I started this journey with a group of strangers but left as part of a new family. It was a privilege to meet everyone and I have kept several connections. I think it would be impossible not to!
The tutors and assistants were fantastic and really made this experience what it was! Meditations, group work, individual therapy sessions and space to share, made this ‘course’ more of an experiential retreat for me; I was learning the theory by being right in it! The Assagioli ‘egg’ was brought to life and the structure was such that each day built upon the previous one. The most treasured element of Psychosynthesis for me (and what sets it apart from other theories) is how fundamentally transpersonal it is, moreover built in to our psyche through the higher unconscious. It is emancipating to acknowledge something beyond myself, but which is part of my core. ‘Will’ is another pertinent one for me and being able to dissect it was fascinating. By the end I had made many notes and had lots of artwork to take home and process. I am not going to lie… the days were long, intense, emotional and joyful. I was exhausted at the end, but my cup was full. The little party on the final day was a lovely touch. It was great to let my hair down with everyone in preparation for re-entering the real world!
There was no judgement; the space felt safe. I was truly ‘seen’ and held by the group throughout. I am applying Psychosynthesis in my personal life and excited to implement some developments in my design work. Anxiety held me back for such a long time and there were moments before the course that I considered backing out, but I am SO GLAD I didn’t.
There were many nuggets of insight and clarity that impacted me over the 4 days, but the most significant one came from a fleeting phrase that described the experience of Psychosynthesis as ‘touching the edges’… allowing friction to bring about change; feeling stuff, to move through it or bounce off it. This, for me, was exactly what happened. Completing ‘The Essentials’ has been a significant milestone in my personal development and given me the clarity I needed to move into the next chapter with confident will. I highly recommend it!
Artwork designed and created by Charlotte Thompson.