DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU


Module Specifications

Archived Version 2020 - 2021

Module Title Integrative Psychosynthesis Model
Module Code NS508
School 38

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the psychosynthesis model of counselling and psychotherapy and to facilitate them in accommodating the psychosynthesis approach into an integrative model of practice. The module places psychosynthesis within its historical and philosophical context, highlighting its transpersonal and spiritual origins. It provides a platform of knowledge and skills that allows participants to integrate core concepts such as holism, imagination, and the will into their practice. The approach taken addresses the developmental stages of participants as emerging professional practitioners of psychotherapy. A mix of readings, class discussion, and simulated role-play is used to provide participants with a solid grounding in both the theory and practice of psychosynthesis.

Learning Outcomes

1. Discuss the psychosynthesis model in detail, including its philosophical and spiritual underpinnings and what makes it unique from other classical models of psychotherapy.
2. Critique the work of Assagioli and compare his work with the work of other key figures in the school of transpersonal psychotherapy.
3. Explain and illustrate psychosynthesis concepts such as identification, sub-personalities, the will and the Transpersonal Self.
4. Utilize the techniques of psychosynthesis counselling and provide a rationale for particular methods in given instances.
5. Use his/her exploration of psychosynthesis counselling and psychotherapy to guide self-development and an increased level of self-awareness in their clinical work.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture32Students will attend a series of lectures/seminars, where they will be expected to attend to didactic presentations and participate in class discussions based on the readings assigned.
Group work8Students gather in groups of four to discuss material arising out of class lectures
Independent Study40Sourcing books and articles from reading list, reading in-depth (including note-taking where appropriate) in preparation for participation in class dialogue.
Assignment Completion30Details provided in class
Directed learning15Time to reflect on how the theories and approaches discussed in class resonate (or not) with one’s own personal experiences and belief systems.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to Psychosynthesis:
The section places Psychosynthesis within an historical and philosophical context. It provides a quick review of the dominant schools of psychotherapy (psychodynamic, behavioural-cognitive, and humanistic), and highlights the fourth or spiritual dimension that the transpersonalists, and in particular psychosynthesis has brought to the field.

The Work of Assagioli:
As the recognized Founder of Psychosynthesis, the work of Assagioli is examined in detail. This section reviews Assagioli s background, including his psychoanalytical heritage, and discusses how his experience and observations led him to the development of his Psychosynthesis model. The structure of his model, and the core concepts contained therein (the Will, sub-personalities ), are explored in detail, through a mix of readings, discussions, and self-reflection.

Other Transpersonalistis
This section provides an overview of the work of other key transpersonal theorists, including including John Rowan, Ken wibur, Pierre Ferucci, Molly Young Brown, Diane Whitmore and Will Parfitt. Similarities and differences are assessed and discussed, and participants will learn how to contrast and compare several transpersonal perspectives, using their own judgment, discernment, and personal intuitiveness to integrate psychosynthesis into their own practice. The importance of studying the unconscious to aid in understanding of individuals is illustrated.

Self-Awareness and Growth:
This subject is integrated throughout the module, as participants learn how to self-reflect through the lens of psychosynthesis and other transpersonal theorists. In particular, Assagioli s model of psychosynthesis is encouraged as a springboard for participants to begin their own personal journey of self-exploration, spiritual awareness, and personal-growth. This journey of integrating personal development and theoretical grounding with each participant s professional practice will continue for the duration of this Programme/Award.

The Soul:
The importance of caring for the needs of the soul within the context of contemporary cultural developments is discussed. The meaning of soul, and its manifestations in individuals lives is examined and debated in large group and small group class discussions.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Assagioli, R: 2010, The Act of Will, The Synthesis Center Inc, Amherst, MA, 9678570661
  • Assagioli,R: 2000, Psychosynthesis: A Collection of Basic Writings, Synthesis Center, Amherst, MA, 10: 0967857007
  • Assagioli, R: 2008, Transpersonal Development, Smiling Wisdom, imprint of Inner Way Productions, 0953081125
  • Eastcott, M: 1980, I, the story of the self, Theosophical Pub. House, Wheaton, Ill., 0835605418
  • Firman, J , Gila, A.: 2002, Psychosynthesis, State University of New York Press, Albany, 978-0791455340
  • Hanson. R.,Mendius, R.: 2009, Buddha's Brain, New Harbinger Publications, Oakland, 1572246952
  • Hardy,J.: 1990, A Psychology with a Soul: Psychosynthesis in Evolutionary Context, Penguin Books, London, 978-0140192186
  • Parfitt,W.: 2003, Psychosynthesis: The Elements and Beyond, PS Avalon, www.willparfitt.com, 0954476409
  • Rowan, J.: 1993, Discover your subpersonalities, Routledge, London, 0415073669
  • Siegel, D. J.: 2010, The Mindful Therapist, Norton & Company, New York, 0393706451
  • Stein, M.: 1998, Jung's map of the soul, Open Court, Chicago, 0812693760
  • Young Brown, M.: 2004, Unfolding Self, Allworth Press, New York, 978-1581153835
  • Firman, J., Gila,A.: 1997, The primal wound, State University of New York Press, Albany, NY, 0791432947
Other Resources

0, Monograph, Marie Beresford and Sue Holland, 2004, “Essays in Psychospiritual Psychotherapy – a psychosynthesis perspective, London, Institute of Psychosynthesis, http://www.psychosynthesis.org, 0, Monograph, Freda Colyer, 2004, What Canst thou say – the Transformation of Echo, London, Institute of Psychosynthesis, http://www.psychosynthesis.org, 0, Monograph, Camilla Powell, 2004, Divine Homesickness – the Tension between Alienation and Belonging”, London, Institute of Psychosynthesis, http://www.psychosynthesis.org,
Programme or List of Programmes
GDPCGDip in Counselling & Psychotherapy
MDPCMSc in Counselling & Psychotherapy