The Solutions

 

I distinguish Four Psychologies, each with particular types of goals and corresponding interventions. These can all be achieved by learning and practicing various combinations of cognitive behavioral techniques and psychological meditation.

Psychology 1.0: Preventive Psychology focuses on  psychological strategies for preventing psychological probems and physical problems that are caused or contributed to by psychological functioning.

 

Psychology 2.0: Curative Psychology focuses on treating psychological problems already present and any physical problems they have caused or contributed to. This is the type of psychology employed by most psychotherapists and behavioral health clinicians.

Psychology 3.0: Positive Psychology focuses on attaining what most people consider to be maximal human potential, including a healthy body, positive mood states, and what the individual's culture and/or subculture considers to be (a) adaptive cognitive content and process and (b) adaptive behavioral and social functioning. The top of Abraham Maslow's initial and outdated needs hierarchy pyramid included this as "Self-Actualization."

Psychology 4.0: Transpersonal / Transformational / Transcendental Psychology focuses on what Abraham Maslow termed "the farther reaches of human nature," extending into the realms of peak experiences and altered states of consciousness that are often experienced as spiritual, cosmic or religious in nature. In his "Revised Needs Hierarchy," Maslow termed this (borrowing the term from Eastern psychologies) "Self-Realization" or "Self Transcendence."

Meditation can be used as a tool by any of the four psychologies. However, it is important to bear in mind that it is a very powerful tool. One author writing on the use of meditation for health benefits rather than for transcendental purposes likened it to rocket fuel. You can use rocket fuel merely to light a campfire, but you may be in for a surprise. 

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