Ingo Jahrsetz - Psychotherapy
Ingo Benjamin Jahrsetz
Who am I?
For many people today, it is not only important to know which methods a therapist uses but also who that person is. In this context, often the question is asked whether the therapist lives in his personal everyday life what he represents vis-à-vis his clients in therapy.
For me, this always has been a big challenge. My therapeutic training began after a major life crisis; at that time, I learned to look closely what proves to be true for me. I haven't stopped doing that and I hope I can continue to do this up to the end of my life.
I never liked crises; but after I had worked through them, I didn’t want to miss any of them until today. I see crises as an art of "metabolic process"; I could always sense in them the "zest for life". Gradually I learned to satisfy this hunger as I understood what letting go is about.
The wounds of my life taught me essentials about psychological patterns and spiritual confusion.
As they gradually healed up, I learned a lot about psychotherapy and healing. I learned to use my own healing also for the sake of others.
I am the generation of children still born in the great war.
Accepting what sometimes does not seem acceptable: A way out of the chaos towards a new better order. This was always a central theme for me.
I longed to leave limitations behind and set out to new shores, to transform shame and guilt into greater responsibility, to surrender to the silence and letgo of fear, feeling God's love.
About my therapeutic work
The heart of my work is a trust-based relationship with my clients. I rarely see them as "sick," rather than as people who react difficultly to difficult life situations.
Most of them yearn for authentic life; they yearn for ways to work meaningfully and to live creatively. Often people with a great heart lack the courage to get involved in close relationships.
In individual contexts this often means making clear decisions, realizing one's own limitations and standing by oneself. Again and again, this means trusting one's own perceptions and feelings and courageously stand up for it.
For many people it is important to give up fighting and to accept one’s imperfectness and fear. This also means getting involved, appreciating bonds. There is sacredness in the marriage of the male and the female.
Today, many problems of our daily life have their roots in the collective. Often this is not so easy to acknowledge because the collective surrounds and permeates us like water surrounds the fish.
Over the past 15 years, I have dealt intensively with the Nazi past of the Germans and I found out that these traumas affected the post-war generation and its children who are mostly adults today.
Being aware of that can lead to insights that change our entire worldview. Often this is associated with transpersonal experiences and insights into the mystery of life. For many years, it was difficult for me to live in Germany. Today, when recognizing my roots in this country, the sadness about the heaviness of what had happened begins to give way. Instead, I see how it is possible to bring dignity, mindfulness and compassion into the world. Eventually, this may happen if I fully accept and meet myself with kindness.
Which methods do I use to work therapeutically?
I’d like to summarize the methods with which I work today as “integrative psychotherapy”. Eventually, that’s what I learned in the many years of my work in psychotherapeutic trainings, seminars and in meditation retreats. In the early years I was enthusiastic about psychoanalysis, especially about its theoretical foundation.
Later I got to know the value of systemic relationships which determine the lives of families and couples, however, they are also an important aspect in individual therapy. In the work with psychodrama, I realized how important the emotional expression and the understanding of the different rituals and scenes of our life can be for the therapeutic process.
Working with Holotropic Breathwork helped me to understand that the human soul reaches much further than the everyday conflicts and the entanglements with one’s own family. The Holotropic Breathwork enables experiences connecting the personal, the collective, and the eternal. Each existential experience nourishes the human longing to realize connectedness with all and everything in the heart. This can mean deepest healing.
The extent of transformation and healing in psychotherapy is dependent from what someone wants, needs, and from the commitment he/she brings along. Sometimes it is all about a new impulse in life or overcoming an obstacle, an inhibition as fast as possible. Some people want to heal their deepest wounds. In doing so, they may discover that where they are hurt most deeply, there is their greatest longing and potential.
What do I teach?
Together with my friend Rainer Pervöltz, I am the director of this institute.
I am a teacher and member of the Grof Legacy Training initiated by Stan and Brigitte Grof.
I teach transpersonal psychotherapy, transpersonal psychopathology, and I guide processes in meditation.
Together with our international team, we are offering seminars and trainings in Transpersonal Breathwork, Spiritual Guidance, and Grof® Breathwork.
What is Transpersonal Psychotherapy?
In addition to behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, humanistic therapy, it is the fourth power of psychotherapeutic therapy. Transpersonal psychotherapy is nothing fancy and nothing esoteric. Like other therapeutic methods oriented at self-exploration, transpersonal psychotherapy picks up people where they are in their difficulties and their potential of growth.
Other than person-oriented psychotherapy, TP focuses on the “inner healing intelligence”, the “inner intuitive wisdom” which knows best who this person is, where she/he will go, and what is needed for help. TP works with Holotropic States of Consciousness and has an extended understanding of the psyche, encompassing the current life situation, the biographical, the perinatal, the transpersonal, and the spiritual.
Transpersonal psychotherapy supports people to take full responsibility for their lives and well-being as "mature adults". Freud's famous phrase about the goal of the therapy – being able to "love and work” also applies for transpersonal psychotherapy.
Transpersonal Psychotherapy, however, often offers a different perspective of perceiving happiness and suffering. In its view, daily life appears in an existential perspective: from the point of view of death and birth and from what is beyond both of them. Transpersonal and mystical experiences are included in this work.
We know that the human possibility of living freely is deeper than the freedom from the daily constraints. Transpersonal psychotherapists know that all fear can turn into the cosmic gift of compassion and love.
I teach what I have learned – through my teachers, my studies, my students and clients, through the experiences of my life.
What is holotropic breathwork?
Holotropic breathwork is a method of intense self-exploration based on the experience of “Holotropic States of Consciousness” (“states of extended consciousness”). These are states of increased sensitivity and clarity for oneself and for others. They enable authentic, existential experiences, resolving conflicts of the current life and the personal biography. These experiences extend into the layers of infinite consciousness and contribute to the healing of our deepest wounds. This happens when the psyche touches the “numinous”, as C.G. Jung calls it, when the personal contacts the collective and the eternal.
From ancient times, "Holotropic States of Consciousness" (Stanislav Grof) are used particularly in shamanic cultures to heal body and soul. They increase human intuitive intelligence and creativity and integrate them with the power of the heart. Holotropic states of consciousness have a unique quality: they are perspectively oriented towards becoming whole, becoming one with oneself, with others, oneness with the eternal. Holotropic experiences encourage an openness to archetypal, transpersonal and spiritual levels of being.
For several decades, modern Western psychotherapy and research become aware of Holotropic States. For therapeutic purposes Holotropic States need a responsible professional setting. In such a context their psychotherapeutic efficiency is undisputed.
The method of holotropic breathwork consists of a combination of intense breathing (hyperventilation), evocative music specially adapted to this work, body-focused energy work and the so-called "mandala painting". Psychotherapeutic sharing following this process contributes to its deeper understanding and helps to integrate the experiences into daily life.
The technique of intense breathing originates from the yoga tradition. Thanks to Stanislav and Christina Grof it has developed into an effective therapeutic method.
With the support of holotropic breathing, I have been psychologically accompanying people with difficulties and crises for 25 years, people who want to free themselves from their entanglements, who want to live an open heart. I had the privilege of learning directly from Stanislav and Christina Grof.
Stan and Brigitte Grof recently initiated the Grof Legacy Training completing the lineage of psychedelic work and holotropic breathwork as the opening for a life-long spiritual discovery.