Brief Intervention Strategies
Most of what can be considered purely transpersonal interventions are not brief in nature. Even a lifetime may prove too short for most individuals to experience the highest states of connectedness. Although the complete transpersonal experience is by no means short term, transpersonal counselors can and do work with a variety of clients with problems that easily fit into the scope of "normal" life experience and require shorter term counseling. When faced with clients requiring brief interventions, transpersonal counselors are most likely to use established methods, such as cognitive-behavioral interventions, that are proven to work in time-sensitive counseling situations. A study by Hutton (1994) delineated transpersonal theory's liberal use of other interventions. In his study, transpersonal counselors reported using more approaches than other therapies and were found to be more synthesizing in their approach than either psychoanalytic or cognitive-behavioral counselors. Hutton found transpersonal counselors to be similar to cognitive-behaviorists in their use of behaviorally focused visualization, biofeedback, and relaxation and similar to psychoanalysis in their use of intuition and dream work.
Transpersonal counselors believe that attitudes, expectations, and beliefs create the reality that the client experiences (Strohl, 1998). An essential part of transpersonal counseling that is as effective in short-term counseling as in long-term counseling is the uncovering, examining, and addressing of the beliefs that govern the client's reality. The transpersonal counselor will attempt to aid the client in dismissing negative beliefs, thus cultivating positive and constructive thought patterns leading to productive behavioral habits (Strohl, 1998). It is transpersonal theory's practical, yet existential approach to human experience that makes it an effective practice in both short- and long-term counseling situations (Lukoff, Turner, & Lu, 1992).