Jun 12, 2019

What is Integral Psychology?

Integral Psychology—and Integral Psychotherapy, being interrelated fields of inquiry and practice—aim at integrating, healing and deepening our connection with body, emotions, mind, spirit as they present themselves in self, culture, and nature, utilizing a diverse yet profoundly unified set of methods, tools, and practices. The term “Integral” here means “comprehensive,” “holistic,” “wholeness-based.”

The most known version of both Integral Psychology and Integral Psychotherapy nowadays is outlined in the works of Ken Wilber, the founder of Integral Metatheory (such as in his book Integral Psychology as well as various chapters and articles), and his colleagues (see, e.g., Elliott Ingersoll and David Zeitler’s book Integral Psychotherapy: Inside Out/Outside In and Andre Marquis’ book Integral Psychotherapy: A Unifying Approach). This modality is based on what Wilber introduced as the “all quadrants, all levels” approach—or AQAL Integral framework.

Such a comprehensive perspective (AQAL Integral framework) allows activating the full spectrum of human experience and conditions. It offers a panoramic and comprehensive vision of human consciousness, psyche, mind-body connection, and individual as well as collective evolutionary processes. 

Thus, the Integral framework (as applied to psychological disciplines, but it can be applied to any other human discipline, from business to ecology, from spirituality to politics) is an overall meta-approach to theoretical and practical psychology and psychotherapy that aspires to integrate within a seamless synthesis Western and Eastern, Northern and Southern psychologies/therapies, including the best of premodern, modern, postmodern, and metamodern approaches—while overcoming their limitations (i.e. it is transcultural and global in its essentially integrative meta-perspective). 

Integral Psychology, in this vision, is a metaparadigm of psychology which necessarily takes into account the full spectrum of consciousness, being and activities in their multiple forms as they are present in our life considered in its uttermost fullness. In terms of Wilber’s Integral Metatheory, the complete fullness of our life manifests as the “all quadrants, all levels” (AQAL) matrix, where any given element of this matrix cannot be reduced to another (i.e., the Integral approach operates without reducing everything to just brain chemistry or only consciousness or just social construction and environmental influences and so on). 

A striking feature of any genuinely Integral psychology or psychotherapy is its acceptance and profound understanding of the spiritual (or transpersonal) dimensions of human consciousness and reality while being very serious about understanding more common, material and economic aspects of life. 

This entry was written for awarenow wiki

Author: Eugene Pustoshkin

Clinical psychologist, Integral scholar-practitioner and consultant, group work facilitator, Holoscendence & Integral Meditation teacher/practitioner

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Eat Like A Baby To Enhance Digestion

I was having a conversation with my best friend the other day about digestion and hunger cues and she mentioned how those were so evident in her newborn baby.He eats less at night, eats slowly, naturally stops when he’s full and gets annoyed when there are distractions while he eats. (I thought was especially funny to think about a baby swatting away a toy while attached to a bottle.) The thing is, we all did this once too. These cues were once very natural for us. But they were conditioned out of us as we got older and became more accustomed to this fast-paced world we live in where everything must be done at super-sonic speed, including mealtime. However, it’s not how our bodies were designed to optimally function. When we eat quickly we put ourselves into a state of stress, and a stress state actually shuts down the digestive system. This hinders the digestion process, which can lead to a whole host of issues, such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue and lagging energy. The best way to counteract this constant stress state is to enjoy your meals in a relaxed state by eating slowly. Savor your food without distraction (just like my friend’s baby). Get intimate with the taste, texture, aroma and visuals of the meal. This will not only increase your pleasure and satisfaction of the food, but also will enhance the digestive process. And just like a baby, slowing down and paying attention to your food will lead you to stop naturally when you’re full and decrease the likelihood of overeating. Did you know it takes the brain 20 minutes to catch up to the stomach? So what happens then if you eat an entire plateful of food in just 5 minutes? The answer is you probably end up eating more than your body needs because your brain didn’t have the chance to the register the food in your stomach. If you think you have issues with overeating or often find that your stomach is distended after your meals, get rid of distractions while eating. Becoming more fully present with your food will help you slow down and more readily read your body’s hunger and satisfaction cues. These are just a few tips that I hope can help you get more in tune with your digestive process. For more strategies, check out my FREE VIDEO where I share 3 bio-hacks to enhance digestion and increase energy…without changing what you eat! Get the FREE video
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Changing Habits: What’s Your Why?

When contemplating changing your habits or lifestyle, the most important question to ask yourself is: WHY? Why am I doing this? Why do I want this? There are as many different and right answers to this one as there are people. And your answer is the quickest way to get to what lies beneath the desire and discover what’s at the core. It’s also the best way to keep the motivation going when changing your habits because when you’re clear on your WHY, it can pick you back up if your enthusiasm starts to wane. Now there are Why(s) when eradicating an unhealthy habit and there are Why(s) when implementing a new healthy habit, and both can be uncovered with a few what and when queries. To get you started on the digging process, grab a journal and a pen, and answer these questions. Use whichever question fits your current situation, repeat it to yourself, ideally aloud, and sit with it for a moment. Then write down whatever bubbles up. 1. What purpose does this habit serve? / What purpose do I want this habit to serve? 2. What are my reasons for wanting to change/implement this habit? 3. When I give in to this habit, how do I honestly feel afterward? / How do I want this habit to make me feel afterward? 4. What imbalances am I causing with this habit? / What imbalances am I trying to fix with this habit? 5. What does my life look like when this habit is no longer a part of it? / What does my life look like when this habit is part of my regular routine? Once you’ve discovered your Why(s), repeat them often to yourself. You can even try posting your Why on your bathroom mirror, at the top of your computer screen or on your nightstand, where it can serve as a constant reminder of the commitment you’re making to yourself and your health. My personal why for leading a healthy lifestyle is freedom and the ability to do what I love. I believe the body is our vehicle in life to accomplish our soul mission and if the body isn’t healthy or properly functioning, we can’t show up to our fullest capacity in any area of our lives. So what’s your Why?
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Finding Your Niche

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