Healthy Options: Transpersonal psychology for women’s health and wellness
Special to The Union
After raising her children, Marge Kaiser, who graduated in clinical psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, returned to school at California State University, Sonoma, where she majored in Transpersonal Psychology with a specialty in Wilderness Psychology.
It was during her studies that the concept of the “Deep Feminine” archetype was brought to her attention. Before this, Marge didn’t have a language to express what she had been feeling as a newly divorced woman and single mother raising two daughters. Since then, the Deep Feminine has been an integral part of her work, which has included serving as the founder and executive director of the Sierra Nevada Deep Ecology Institute in Nevada City.
As a certified hypnotherapist, in addition to hypnotherapy, Marge provides individual coaching, and women’s spiritual retreats — always with a focus on transpersonal development. Kaiser believes that women’s voices are a much-needed medicine for the earth’s healing and survival.
In this week’s Healthy Options, we share a short interview with Marge Kaiser, MA, CHT about the Deep Feminine and women’s health.
What is Transpersonal psychology?
Transpersonal psychology is a field of psychology that explores the divine aspects of the human experience in which the sense of self extends beyond the personal to include the essence of all life, including the cosmos. Transpersonal psychology explores both the sense of the personal self, and the spiritual or Soul Self. Traditional psychology deals with the mind, often overlooking the deeper needs of the soul. This is why you can go to talk therapy for years, intellectually understand your various issues, but not make any behavioral or emotional changes. It many ways, the soul is like a small child in a classroom, waving a hand saying, “Pick me! Pick me!”
How can Transpersonal psychology help women be healthier?
Many women are out of touch with their authentic or spiritual selves, including their deep feminine nature. In our culture, women see themselves as caregivers, focusing on attending to husband, children, boss whoever asks or is in need. As a result, they don’t take care of their own personal and psychological needs, and lose touch with their soul longing and purpose. This puts stress on their immune system, causes mental and physical illness, and leaves them feeling emotionally, physically, and spiritually depleted. Transpersonal psychology explores the spiritual and emotional aspects of self, guiding people—women especially—into a deeper connection with their true nature, which results in healing.
I understand you lead women’s groups. What are some of the issues women bring to the table?
Because women often put everything—work, family, relationships—in front of their own needs, they come to a group to learn how to make sense of and deal with their feelings and frustrations, and perhaps to free themselves from various situations. Some come to group with an internal sense of despair and longing for something that is difficult if not impossible to describe. These women know they want change, but they don’t know what they want or how to get it. For most, it’s not until a health crisis occurs that they start paying attention to that small voice, the one that began as a whisper and is now shouting at them to get help. In our culture, many women feel this way, but only some have the courage to deal with it.
How can women get through this experience and reclaim their authentic nature?
Groups are a good way because you share your experience with others and discover that you are not alone in dealing with this issue. Another option is individual coaching. Some women aren’t comfortable with a group experience and benefit more from one-on-one. Hypnotherapy can also help. It provides direct access to the unconscious where the authentic Soul Self resides. Then, it’s a matter of listening to and empowering that voice to speak, which begins a process of healing change. Often change is difficult, but we resist making it without support.
For women interested in group experience, is there a group they can join?
Yes. Currently, I’m facilitating two groups with Lynette Weiss-Benoit LCSW. One meets in Nevada City every Monday evening. The other is a 5-day intensive retreat from Sept. 27-Oct. 2 on a ranch in Grass Valley (http://www.anewhopecounselingservices.com). Beginning in September, I will be leading a six-week series, “Voices of the Deep Feminine,” where we will explore listening to the deep Soul Self.
For more information about workshops, coaching and hypnotherapy contact Marge Kaiser at 530-265-6649 or at http://www.margekaiser.com.
Jan Fishler is a local author and writing coach. You can learn more about Jan at http://www.janfishler.com.
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