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Dr. Roberto Assagioli
Assagioli was born in Venice in 1888. In 1910 Assagioli, as a young medical student, introduced the work of Sigmund Freud to his professors at Florence.
However, while embracing the radical new currents of psychoanalysis, he simultaneously - in 1910 - laid the groundwork for a critique of that same psychoanalysis. He saw that it was only partial, that it neglected the exploration of what Maslow, some sixty years later, would call “the farther reaches of human nature.” He felt that there was too much emphasis on pathology and not enough emphasis on human potential and what gives meaning to life.
Assagioli was a student of philosophical and spiritual traditions of both East and West, and he developed an approach to therapy which would include not only the healing and development of the personality, but contact with the "transpersonal" or spiritual dimension as well. He created a system that took into account our living relationships with other people, nature, and the planet as a whole.
The approach would encompass creativity and will, love, joy and wisdom, as well as impulses and drives. In short a holistic view of the human being.
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It was important for Assagioli that this integrative approach would be practical - not merely an academic understanding of how we live, but a set of tools to help us live better and express our potential. This work he called Psychosynthesis.
Roberto Assagioli was probably the only individual who participated personally and actively in the birth of two distinct and fundamental revolutions in twentieth century psychology. Psychoanalysis and Transpersonal Psychology
Assagioli was very much ahead of his time. It was only in the late sixties that, with the suddenness born of deep and massive need, his books and other writings were taken up by thousands and have influenced writers and practitioners in the many fields of personal and spiritual development.