What is Psychosynthesis?

A Brief Explanation of the Psychotherapeutic Modality I work in

The modality of psychotherapy I trained in and currently practice goes by the almost impossible to pronounce name of:  Psychosynthesis.   

Here’s a short summary of what it is with an info-graphic below of the ‘Egg Diagram’ to illustrate some of its dimensions.  

Psychosynthesis was developed by an Italian Psychoanalyst called Robert Assagioli in the early part of the twentieth century.  Assagioli studied under Freud, and hence a part of Psychosynthesis derives from Psycho-Dynamic theory, a therapy which in essence concentrates on the events of a client’s past and the continued impact of those events plus their possible re-creation in the present.  This is represented in the Egg model by the ‘Lower Unconscious’ which is in the bottom third of the egg. 

Assagioli went further in developing Psychosynthesis however, visualising it as a transpersonal, psycho-spiritual therapy in which the client’s (sometimes unconscious) need to find meaning and purpose in their life and connection with their Higher Self / Divine Self / the ‘Universe’ – in Psychosynthesis, just known as Self – is of profound importance in healing the childhood wounds that may be present in the lower part of the Egg.  The psychospiritual is the top part of the Egg, known as ‘the Superconscious’. 

To achieve this, Assagioli advocated that therapists (who had been through their own ‘personal Psychosynthesis’) work in the ‘here and now’, in relationship with their clients, providing a safe and authentic space of empathy and non-judgement, very much like the ‘unconditional positive regard’ which is a key part of Rogerian Person-Centred psychotherapy. 

A unique aspect of Psychosynthesis, within the ‘Middle Unconscious’ is the concept of Will and its power to change our lives.  Assagioli wrote extensively on aspects of the Will, in relation to manifestation (before it was fashionable!), the conscious stages to follow to go about achieving lasting change in one’s life, and the aspirational power that comes with being able to harness and employ one’s Will to this end.   

For me, this can be the most exciting part of Psychosynthesis, witnessing where clients obtain freedom of choice and self-determination over their lives through first inspiration and then a conscious connection with Will.  


This is just a pit-stop tour. 

If you want to read more, the place where I trained, the Institute of Psychosynthesis, has a very well-resourced site here https://www.psychosynthesis.org.  

In my practice I also have worked and continue to work with therapists in training, who are studying at the Psychosynthesis Trust.  Their site is here: https://psychosynthesistrust.org.uk