Employment Outlook & Career Guidance for Transpersonal Therapists
According to Transpersonal Lifestreams, “the transpersonal approach to therapy, psychotherapy and counseling builds on the humanistic therapy, by integrating psychoanalytic and cognitive-behavioral therapies. The hallmark of transpersonal psychotherapy is integration; valuing wholeness of being and self-realization on all levels.”
In other words, transpersonal therapy is a holistic approach to healing the mind, body and soul, by addressing basic human needs for satisfying relationships, self-esteem, and spiritual growth.
Transpersonal Therapy hasn’t yet been fully recognized as a scientific field of study, but builds on several fields of psychology, and offers an alternative view of behavioral, humanistic and psychoanalytic psychology, and claims that religious and mystical theories can be examined scientifically for the purpose of healing. Although experts in the field will disagree to the specific model for this form of therapy, most will agree that there are three key areas that comprise industry standards:
- Combined/holistic and natural psychology – To actualize the real self by empowering individuals to be true to the authentic self.
- Transformative psychology – psychology that integrates the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience with the framework of modern psychology, often referred to as spiritual psychology.
- Ego-transcended psychology – A practice or technique which involves moving beyond prior limitations. This technique is essential for spiritual and psychological progress (SADHANA)
Read up on how to become a transpersonal therapist.
Important Knowledge, Skills & Abilities
Although specific job duties, knowledge, and skills depend on the career field, such as life coach, mental health counselor or recreation therapist, individuals who study transpersonal psychology use their knowledge and training to assist people in understanding their lives, experiences, viewpoints, and attitudes.
For example, a transpersonal therapist might listen to a patient discuss his or her personal difficulties. They will then help them solve their problems by incorporating spiritual development, meditation, and dream work. Teachers and health care professionals might use analytic thinking abilities when evaluating data, and use research methods when performing psychological experiments.
Important Knowledge for a Transpersonal Therapist
- Psychology: Knowledge of human behavior and performance; emphasizing the individual differences in a person’s abilities, personality, interests, learning and motivation, and spirituality. This includes the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Psychotherapy: Knowledge about the various treatment options for mental disorder by psychological rather than medical means.
- Religion and/or Spirituality: Knowledge about organized, as well as public rituals of religion and spirituality.
- Personality Disorders: Knowledge about a deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behavior of a specified kind, which typically causes long-term difficulties in personal relationships or in functioning in society.
- Therapy and Counseling: Knowledge of the basic principles, procedures, and methods for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of mental dysfunctions, and to a lesser extend of physical dysfunctions.
- Self-actualization: Knowledge about the realization or fulfillment of one's talents and potential especially considered as a need present in everyone.
- Psychopathology: Knowledge of the scientific study of mental disorders, including efforts to understand their genetic, biological, psychological, and social causes.
- Analytic thinking: Knowledge about methodical step-by-step approaches to thinking that allows therapists to break down complex problems into manageable components.
Skills & Abilities for a Transpersonal Therapist
There are a number of skills necessary to succeed as a transpersonal therapist. These abilities provide the foundation for careers in teaching, counseling, public service, business and healthcare. Graduates of transpersonal psychology programs pursue careers as business consultants, entrepreneurs, in research, and in private practice.
- Critical thinking skills – The ability to actively conceptualize, analyze, apply, and/or evaluate information gathered from observation, experience, reasoning, or communication.
- Interpersonal skills – The capacity to empathize with and teach clients with various communication or behavioral deficits, learning disorders, emotional problems, mental retardation, and physical disabilities.
- Organizational skills – The ability to juggle multiple tasks, prioritize projects and focus on desired outcomes. Time management, setting reasonable goals, and systematically working to ensure positive outcomes and results.
- Superior Communication skills – The ability to effectively listen and communicate, whether verbally, non-verbally, written, or visually through art media.
- Organizational skills – As a life coach you will see or talk to a number of clients during the day, and staying organized is imperative.
- Motivation skills – The ability to motivate your clients to make a change, or to draw out a person’s potential is vital to the career as a life coach.
- Empathy – Transpersonal therapists make no assumptions, they do not instruct or judgment.
- Self-assurance – Because a life coach inspires people to make changes in areas of their personal and professional life, being confident in your ability to coach is crucial.
Important Knowledge for a Transpersonal Therapist
Many therapists enter more established mental health careers and then acquire education and training in transpersonal psychology. Transpersonal therapists may work a somewhat varied schedule, including part-time, full-time, weekends and holidays, and travel may also be required. They practice in a variety of settings, including:
Schools and colleges
Clinical research facilities
Detention and rehabilitation centers
Mental health agencies
Domestic violence shelters
There are very few master's or doctoral degree programs in transpersonal psychology/therapy. Individuals interested in pursuing a career as a transpersonal therapist should look at their chosen mental health profession to determine education requirements, career prospects and potential financial compensation prior to pursuing this field of study. Future therapists interested in transpersonal psychology can obtain a student membership in the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and gain access to continuing education classes and the association's various resources.
Demand for transpersonal therapists and psychologists is expected to increase by 12-percent by 2022, which is about average when compared to all other career fields. The national average wage for a Transpersonal Therapist is $67,000. Salary fluctuates depending on geographic location, education and experience, with the highest earners in private practice topping nearly $100,000 per year.
Job Outlook and Employment Projections for Transpersonal Therapists
Although there are no firm requirements for pursuing a career as a transpersonal therapist, it is usually recommended to obtain a formal education and become licensed in order to advance in this field, earn a higher salary and be in line for promotions. Many aspiring transpersonal psychologists will begin their careers with bachelor degrees in general psychology or counseling, and then continue their education by earning an advanced degree in the behavioral sciences, psychology, religious studies, or philosophy, and become licensed.
At the master’s degree level, there are a number of counseling psychology programs that offer concentrations in transpersonal psychology, as it is not always necessary to enroll in a program that has a concentration in transpersonal therapy to practice in this field. However, some programs do not prepare a graduate to be licensed as a psychologist, but may prepare you for licensure as a professional counselor. Requirements vary from state to state.
Transpersonal therapists can also increase their knowledge and employment prospects through continuing education – generally a requirement to maintain licensure. It’s also interesting to know that the American Psychological Association has approved some continuing education classes in transpersonal psychology.