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The Odyssey Method Part 2: Transpersonal Psychology and Altered States of Consciousness 

“The Odyssey Method has been developed within the intellectual framework of transpersonal psychology, as, in our opinion, this body of knowledge provides the richest understanding of the states of consciousness that are experienced with psychedelics and the process of bio-psycho-social-spiritual development that occurs with successful therapy.” — Dr. Michael Ocana, MD, in the EntheoTech Odyssey Manual

At EntheoTech, we take the states of consciousness induced by ketamine and the classic psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and DMT) very seriously. These states can take a tremendous variety of forms, from immersive dream-like re-livings of past events, to self-transcendent spiritual experiences, to experiences of intense emotional release, to ‘archetypal’ experiences that seem to tap into collective, universal themes and motifs1,2. We believe that therapists should be knowledgeable about this range of potential experiences in order to have better insight into the experiences of clients, and to inform them ahead of time that they may occur.

This is why we have developed our Odyssey Method within the framework of Transpersonal Psychology: a school of thought that incorporates the concepts of modern psychology within a larger framework that includes altered states of consciousness, self-transcendent spiritual and peak experiences, personal meaning, and questions of ultimate human potential.

Although it is relatively less known, Transpersonal Psychology emerged in the late 1960s as a direct descendant of the Humanistic Psychology movement. It draws heavily from the pioneering work of luminaries such as William James, Carl Jung, Stanislav Grof, Roberto Assagioli, Anthony Sutich, and Abraham Maslow. Indeed, the legendary Abraham Maslow himself (the originator of the psychological concept of ‘self-actualization’ and the hierarchy of needs) helped found the Transpersonal Psychology movement because he felt increasingly dissatisfied with the Humanistic Psychology framework3.

In addition to including the spiritual and self-transcendent aspects of life, Transpersonal Psychology is consistent with Humanistic Psychology in upholding a view of human psychological development that extends beyond simply reaching adulthood. This puts it at odds with many traditional models of psychological development, which often assume that once we become a biologically and cognitively mature adult (e.g. typically in our early-mid 20s), we are effectively ‘done’ developing.

By drawing from Transpersonal Psychology, the Odyssey Method leverages ketamine or psychedelic experiences to facilitate the ongoing maturation and development of each client’s personality. Towards this end, it focuses on helping clients heal past trauma, resolve mental health difficulties and chronic pain, attain greater self-actualization, and have deeper, more meaningful interpersonal relationships. We at EntheoTech believe that this approach has significant potential to produce lasting improvements in mental health and flourishing for clients.

Written by Manesh Girn for EntheoTech

REFERENCES

(1) LSD: Doorway to the Numinous: The Groundbreaking Psychedelic Research into Realms of the Human Unconscious

(2) The Varieties of Psychedlic Experience

(3) The farther reaches of human nature

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