Three levels – be normal, self-actualise, dis-identify

bullet waves 1 brown on green-yellow aa-img029_crTherapy and life healing can take place on three levels.

Getting back to normal. All therapy and personal development starts from this level. It includes basic emotional education (eg I can change my thinking). It helps you to get things back to normal and live happily like anyone else, without pain and fear. But still, (from the quotation above) the ship of your life remains in the harbour.
Self-actualisation. This helps you to explore deeper levels in psychological yourself, to make major changes of direction, to go beyond family conditioning and live your own life. This is the level which helps you to discover your creativity or “mission” and realise your fullest potential. Your ship leaves the harbour.
Dis-identification, or therapy for meditation and the spiritual journey. This helps you access a different level of joy and peace as you ask yourself “Who is the one who experiences this creativity or mission?” This is a spiritual or meditative or soul-level search, the level of transpersonal psychotherapy, beyond identity. Therapies which at least partly understand this include Buddhist psychotherapy; Star Sapphire work; Osho therapy and meditation; Gurdjieff work; the Brandon Bayes journey process; Alchemical hypnotherapy; Bert Hellinger’s Family Constellation therapy; Byron Katie’s process called The Work; and many other of the most advanced personal development schools. And of course this is the sole focus of the enlightened teachers, including those in the Osho, advaita, Buddhist, Zen, Gurdjieff, Taoist and other traditions

Of course, in real life it’s not so clear-cut. But these are a useful rough guide.

Different schools of psychotherapy target one level more than another. CBT and Human Givens features pragmatic tools for level (1). Authentic past life therapy, and Star Sapphire therapy, focuses on levels (2) and (3). Solution-oriented psychotherapy covers level 1 and a surprising amount of level (2). NLP targets level (2) with a few practitioners working with level (3). And so on.

Some forms of psychotherapy, notably CBT, claim to be “research based” or “the only therapy proven to …” This is impressive language, but can mislead. The therapies which make the strongest such claims are predominantly level (1) only. It’s much harder to reduce the unique life-journeys of levels (2) and (3) to the simple fixed protocols needed for research purposes. CBT for example has little to offer for level (2) and its dry, rational outlook doesn’t seem to even recognise that level (3) exists.

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