A Psychotherapy of Love

Psychosynthesis in Practice

By John Firman & Ann Gila

Subjects: Transpersonal Psychology, Psychotherapy, Spirituality, Humanistic Psychology, Psychology
Paperback : 9781438430904, 203 pages, April 2010
Hardcover : 9781438430911, 203 pages, April 2010

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Table of contents


1. Psychosynthesis Personality Theory

2. A Psychosynthesis Developmental Theory

3. Spiritual Empathy

4. The Death and Rebirth of the Therapist

5. Empathic Resonance

6. Love, Power, and Ethics

7. Stage Zero of Psychosynthesis, Survival

8. Stage One of Psychosynthesis, Exploration

9. Stage Two of Psychosynthesis, Emergence of ā€œIā€

10. Stage Three of Psychosynthesis, Contact with Self

11. Stage Four of Psychosynthesis, Response to Self

12. Psychosynthesis as a Psychology of Love


Illuminates the role of empathetic love in psychotherapy.


This book shows what psychosynthesis looks like in the empirical practice of psychotherapy. Originally conceived by Italian psychiatrist Robert Assagioli, psychosynthesis is one of the first Western psychologies that addresses both spiritual and psychological healing and growth through self-realization. In effect, it offers an approach to psychotherapy founded in altruistic love, and the nurturing that supports the innate drive within human beings to embrace and actualize the whole of who they are. Authors John Firman and Ann Gila include experientially based models and theory, case studies from both the client and therapist perspectives, and an invitation for both the professional and the layperson to the self-reflection, inner work, and commitment necessary to love and work at this depth. After an overview of the fundamentals of psychosynthesis theory, the authors explore how a therapist's own embrace of these ideas can foster an altruistic, empathetic love that supports and improves therapist-client rapport and progress.

John Firman (1945ā€“2008) was a psychotherapist in private practice in Palo Alto, California, and an Associate Core Faculty member at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Ann Gila is a psychotherapist in private practice in Palo Alto and an Associate Core Faculty member at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Their books include Psychosynthesis: A Psychology of the Spirit and The Primal Wound: A Transpersonal View of Trauma, Addiction, and Growth, both also published by SUNY Press.