Many years ago I was asked how I reconcile a combination of positive psychology and Jungian depth psychology as part of the preferences of modalities I enjoy using. I found this a curious question as it suggested that I could only operate in one camp, or another. Yet, for me, multi-modalities allow me to meet a client in various capacities. And it acknowledges that there is a full spectrum on a continuum on which life oscillates, that better assists the diverse needs of people through changes and challenges, in the greatest and gentlest possible way.
Life by its true nature includes endings, sadness, grief, despair, deeper yearnings, as well as birthings, soarings, high points, joys, and fun things. And that is part of what makes it whole and complete. The ability to experience everything relevant in your soul experience. Understanding, accepting, transcending and working through the spectrum of what is happening, when it presents, embracing it in entirety, is what makes it validating, and aids in awareness and decision-making.
And because life is an evolving and involving journey, what is needed may shift and change depending on your development and the events you may be experiencing. Understanding that joy and heartache can coexist. That fear and excitement can meet together in a new adventure. That hope and dread can marry as real experiences in human nature. That there is light. And there is shadow. That life offers a smorgasbord of experiential value. That some can inspire you and others can derail you.
Finding joy through positivity when you need it, and creating it as a setpoint, is one aspect. Finding compassion and deeper understanding when joy is hard to see with a more troubling element is another development. And both, at the same time, might sometimes be appropriate to clarify and unify the dichotomies that may be present.
Positives are great. I like them. They help me appreciate. Yet, when it is inauthentic, it can deny stirrings that need to be noticed, and addressed. That’s when the depth is the beauty. Finding what is hidden and revealing it. Peeling away what gets in the way of happiness. For realising a truer, healthier state.
Likewise, staying in the depths can drown you. So bringing things to the surface allows the light to penetrate it, and to resolve any matters that are stopping you from swimming glidingly along your life course happily adept.
And while that somewhat oversimplifies things, working this way allows for balancing. Scanning for what is positive, and what is hidden. Amplifying and reckoning with it, to smooth transitions, and discomforts, towards authentic, durable, improvements.
Our soul signatures are here on a mission. To live life fully. To compel us to embrace the endings and the birthings, joys and discomforts, and to remind us of our humanity. To tune in authentically. To create, and choose greater, more fulfilling and purposeful being, for a better living.
The trick is embracing the internal experience compassionately, lovingly, and creatively, as we travel the spectrum of life both positively, and deeply, authentically.
SaraSwati Shakti is a qualified and experienced psychotherapist, educator, adviser, and coach with success leading transformational change. She uses a multi-modality person-centred approach around her Loving Psyche mandala of wholeness coaching process. Sara received her Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Jansen Newman Institute, a Bachelor of Business and Graduate Certificate in Adult Education from University of Technology Sydney, and has trained in various healing and holistic wellness traditions. She has a commitment to help people reach their next stage of personal and professional development so they can master new skills and qualities that are already in their potential, highlighting existing qualities and preferences, and building on them. Sara believes that every person has choices in the development, self-care and healing methods that best suit them when experiencing transitions in their lives and careers and is equipped to guide and offer options for their holistic wellness.
Article adapted from a lovingpsycheblogpost first published in November 2014.
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