Why Psychotherapy Is Undervalued in Integral

Shadow Work and meditation are methodologies in Ken Wilber‘s quadrant I, and shadow work is also a methodology in quadrants 2 and 3 (His AQAL map). Both meditation and shadow work help maximize the function of the human brain, and both methodologies deal with “stuck” places in the brain and in human consciousness. Integral Life Practice recognizes the importance of 3-2-1 shadow work as a methodology that was not available to most of humanity prior to the last century. However, neither was psychotherapy.

individual vs. relationalThe difference between psychotherapy and shadow work is that shadow work is primarily done by the individual – by HIM OR HERSELF – while psychotherapy is always RELATIONAL. With psychotherapy, you recognize that you need someone else to help you with your growth process; that at some places in your growth process towards more adult functioning and integral consciousness, you CAN’T DO IT ON YOUR OWN!

This, we believe, is a shadow of integral. It is too often hyper-individual reflecting the masculine bias of most of its proponents for intra-psychic methodologies and downplays or undervalues the relational or feminine component of what is often required to transcend and include in quadrants 1 and 2; that is, a quadrant 1 and 2 inter-psychic methodology, integral psychotherapy.

By John Mariner,
Licensed Clinical Social Worker