(Psychiatrist, 27 February 1888 – 23 August 1974)
AREA FOR SPECIAL ATTENTION AND WORK
Roberto Assagioli was a doctor, psychiatrist and psychotherapist and the founder of the psychosynthesis, a model of the human that contains body, spirit and soul.
From 1910 on, Assagioli pointed at the limitations of the psychoanalytical concept: as long as a person is only viewed as being dependent on his biological instincts, then he can only be understood partially, but he is not viewed in his totality. It was the desire of Assagioli to develop a scientific psychology that would acknowledge the existence of the soul’s joy, meaning, fulfilment, creativity, love and wisdom, therefore the higher energies and motivations of the human existence and to show that this contains the person as much as the impulses, urges and needs from the vital basis of the human nature.
Another aspect of his psychology is about the aspect of the ‘will’. He distinguished between the skilful will, the good will and the transpersonal will. Often this is, however, not freely available but underdeveloped or in other words focused on one-side.
Contrary to Freud who said: “I am only interested in the basement of the human”, Assagioli was interested in the entire building. He spent more attention to the higher unconscious and to the development of the transpersonal Self. He said: “We try to build an elevator that gives a person access to each level of his personality. After all, a building with just a basement is a limited building. We would like to open the terrace where you can sit in the sun or look at the stars.”
CONTRIBUTION OF ASSAGIOLI TO THE PSYCHOLOGY OF EXPERIENCE
The most important contribution is expressed in the psychosynthesis: See the entire person instead of the separate parts. We apply this synthesis developed by Assagioli in the HBM philosophy: a person is more than his outward behaviour or appearance. In fact, the Circle of Change used in the HBM is the practical expression of the psychosynthesis. Psychosynthesis states: Attention for the personality (introspection), the intellect (awareness) and the spiritual part (decision scope) should be harmoniously integrated in the various expressions of life (responsibility).
HBM and the application of ACT also used his assessment and thoughts about the unconscious as a guideline.
We let Assagioli talk now: (Psychosynthesis, chapter 3, page 82)
The psychoanalysis, that focuses so much on the unconscious, usually starts with the research into the unconscious with the assistance of her specific techniques – free association, interpretation of dreams etc. – in order to free the forces that were suppressed in the unconscious. We believe that it is advisable to start with making an inventory and evaluating the unconscious aspect of the components of the personality (..) since it is necessary for each man or woman who wants to live consciously that he or she sees the components of the personality very well – and not has a vaguely passive awareness, but a well-considered judgement, evaluation and understanding of it and also control over it.
Therefore the psychology of experience starts from recognition of the conscious personality in order to, after that, continue to explore the unconscious via the disturbances that become visible/ noticeable in that conscious personality. Layer 1 of the ACT measurement is therefore set in the conscious, is recognisable and can be experienced and can also be tested by the correct questions.
His graphic expression of the contradictions as they were adopted and are being used in the Analytical Competence Tool (ACT) are also famous, but ACT uses in the ACT_measurement a more expanded and transcending form integrated in the model that is the foundation of the ACT_measurement.
Psychosynthesis. A Manual of Principles and Techniques
The Act of Will
Psychosynthesis: A Collection of Basic Writings