Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 58, Issue 6, pp 2175–2194 | Cite as

The Altered States of Consciousness in Transpersonal Approach Psychotherapy: Systematic Review and Guidelines for Research and Clinical Practice

  • Milena Nardini-BubolsEmail author
  • Daniele Silva da Silva
  • Andrea dos Santos-Silva
  • Olivia Kacey Stagnaro
  • Tatiana Quarti Irigaray
  • Letícia Oliveira Alminhana
Original Paper


Transpersonal approach in psychotherapy is a controversial field, and there is a lack in scientific information. A search of Embase, Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, PsycINFO and SciELO databases using: [“Altered states of consciousness” AND “Psychotherapy”] and [“Transpersonal” AND “Psychotherapy”] in December 2017 was conducted. From 629 articles found, 14 empirical studies were analyzed. Studies were conducted with adults, most of them women. The benefits were improvement in the treatment of substance use disorder; increased sensation of relaxation, relief of physical pain. Future studies should have rigorous experimental designs; define concepts clearly; detail the method used; present clear guidelines for the ethical boundaries.


Altered states of consciousness Transpersonal psychology Psychotherapy 



This study was financed in part by CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de pessoal de Nível Superior)—Brazil—Finance Code 001.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduation Program of PsychologyPontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul/PUCRS/BRPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Graduation Program of PsychologySanta Clara UniversitySanta ClaraUSA

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