Integral Psychology: Yoga, Growth, and Opening the Heart

Integral Psychology: Yoga, Growth, and Opening the Heart

by Brant Cortright
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Integral Psychology: Yoga, Growth, and Opening the Heart by Brant Cortright

Integral Psychology connects Eastern and Western approaches to psychology and healing. Psychology in the East has focused on our inner being and spiritual foundation of the psyche. Psychology in the West has focused on our outer being and the wounding of the body-heart-mind and self. Each requires the other to complete it, and in bringing them together an integral view of psychology comes into view. The classical Indian yogas are used as a way to see psychotherapy: psychotherapy as behavior change or karma yoga; psychotherapy as mindfulness practice or jnana yoga; psychotherapy as opening the heart or bhakti yoga. Finally, an integral approach is suggested that synthesizes traditional Western and Eastern practices for healing, growth, and transformation.

About the Author:
Brant Cortright is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Integral Counseling Psychology program

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791470718
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 04/26/2007
Series: SUNY series in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology Series
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

At the California Institute of Integral Studies, Brant Cortright is Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Integral Counseling Psychology program. He is the author of Psychotherapy and Spirit: Theory and Practice in Transpersonal Psychotherapy, also published by SUNY Press.

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Integral Psychology: Yoga, Growth, and Opening the Heart 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Overall, I found Integral Psychology a frustrating read. While evocatively poetic at times, the book too often is cliché when discussing the enthralling potentials of psycho-spiritual health. It also rarely satisfies in the evidence department when making bold knowledge claims about this or that facet of the psyche. And I for one hesitate in letting only one person, in this case the great sage Sri Aurobindo, speak for all things Eastern in psychology. Dip into another well, Brant! Cool waters abound. (Having said this, if one is interested in seeing just how Aurobindo¿s insights and developmental philosophy might be matched with select Western approaches, this is a book of choice.) Throughout, this reader was parched, and kept yearning for more. For example, readers are given no (none!) case studies from Cortwright¿s personal practice to illustrate a single one of the many techniques recommended, and the two cases we are offered are written, astonishingly, in a 3rd person, descriptive style. Among other things, 3rd person language precludes the reader access into the lived realities of the client that a 1st-person account otherwise would. Never have I read a book so concerned with first-person realities/meanings/experience and so bereft of the richness of 1st-person accounts. This gap between book conception and book execution creates a dissonance felt throughout the entire monograph. (And the jarring continues with the several mis-spelled words, and surprisingly poor writing, for which the editors at SUNY need to be called to task, big time.) Tsk, tsk! The first portion of the book is devoted to the highly specific, highly specialized jargon of Sri Aurobindo. Ignoring postmodern wisdom, Cortwright treats these specific signifiers as actual realities. The transpersonal realities these words point to are dismissed at our own peril, yet the unselfconscious use of language startles considering this is a book about the promise of awareness. Moreover, Corwright consistently fails to prove to his readership that his knowledge of the Western psychological traditions is up to the integral task he¿s undertaking. (e.g. Is all of Western psychotherapy, as he claims, really devoted to changing behavior?) The unmistakable impression? Cortwright is trapped in his own depths. And in the end, his integral embrace proves unsatisfyingly small (there is this guy Ken Wilber whom you might want to engage a little more, since cogent critiques of his work are few, and he did write a book 7 years prior named, yes, Integral Psychology.) Cortwright is also laboring under the mistaken impression that he is the self-appointed spokesman for all things integral psychology. Says who? Rhetorically, this is just off-putting. (Are you at all interested in joining the already on-going conversations about integral psychology, professor?) Closer to the truth is that he¿s one of many authors and practitioners who are seeking to combine the Wisdoms of East and West for the health and understanding of all. For that we appreciate his efforts, but let¿s hope he expands his A game before the next attempt. Overall Grade: D (not worth the price of admission)