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CANCELLED: The Battle for Free Speech in the Integral Age

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Keith Witt and Corey delve into the complex and contentious issue of cancel culture, examining its implications for free speech, academic freedom, and social cohesion. They explore why understanding the nuances of cancel culture is crucial in today’s polarized environment, and how an Integral perspective can provide a more comprehensive view that embraces complexity, encourages growth, and seeks balance.

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The Psychology of Splitting

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Watch as Dr. Keith and Corey explore the psychological process of splitting, revealing how awareness and regulation of these processes can lead to a more health and healing, as well as to a more integrated and resilient self. By acknowledging the nuanced nature of our emotional responses and learning to navigate them with compassion and mindfulness, we open the door to deeper self-understanding and more harmonious relationships with others.

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Developmental Engagement Field Theory

This article explores how social engagement is central to human functioning and development, and how it potentially provides agentic access to intersubjective and interobjective energy fields. An integrally informed developmental engagement field theory is described, with practical suggestions for applying it to living, parenting, and psychotherapy. The article concludes with a lifespan case study that embodies the presented research.

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An Integral Taxonomy of Therapeutic Interventions

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Given that therapists are confronted with literally hundreds of techniques or interventions to potentially utilize in their clinical practice — and a growing chasm separating research and practice — how do therapists dispel the confusion that so many of us feel as we confront this fragmented heap of techniques? In short, how do therapists decide which interventions to use with a given client?

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Why Greater Depth Means Greater Responsibility

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Watch as Dr. Keith Witt and Corey deVos delve into the profound interdependence between human development and responsibility, exploring how our deepening self-awareness shapes our relationships and societal roles in an ever-evolving world. At the heart of the discussion is the compelling notion that as we evolve in our understanding and self-awareness, we bear a greater onus to guide, uplift, and positively influence those around us. This responsibility is especially important in the realm of relationships, where the path to trust and understanding is often fraught with challenges, yet rich with opportunities for growth.

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Sentio Ergo Sum: The Emotional Line of Development

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Integral Theory is described as a “nondual” developmental paradigm, where ontology and epistemology are paired constructively, and in which developing consciousness is sourced by thought, feeling, and states of consciousness. Emotional and cognitive development intertwine within ego development, and ego is defined by its coordinating and self-identifying functions. Following a review of the literature on emotions and emotional development, criteria are proposed for preconventional, conventional, and post-conventional levels of emotional development.

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Integral Perspectives on Alcoholism

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Alcohol addiction is a deeply entrenched issue that affects a significant portion of the population, with around 10% of children being raised in a family with at least one alcoholic parent as of 2019. In this episode of Witt and Wisdom, Dr. Keith Witt and Corey deVos undertake a comprehensive exploration of alcohol addiction, its effects, and the recovery process through the lens of Ken Wilber’s integral theory, which encompasses all four quadrants – individual (internal and external) and collective (internal and external).

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Developmental Experiments in Individual and Collective Movement to Second Tier

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This article describes seven years of research on an ongoing experiment that fosters the development of individuals and groups through an integrally informed educational program called Generating Transformative Change (GTC). A progressively targeted developmental action research project involving seven cohorts is described and the conclusions about three of these participant groups, involving a total of 30 people, are presented.

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When Therapists Go Woke

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Dr. Keith and Corey examine a troubling new trend in psychotherapy, where woke ideologies are being imposed in the therapist’s office and interfering with client-based approaches to mental health. Prompted by Lisa Davis’s insightful article “How Therapists Became Social Justice Warriors” in The Free Press, Keith and Corey delve into the evolving role of therapists in the current sociopolitical climate.

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Mastery, Collaboration, and Finding Your Unique Healing Style

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Dr. Keith Witt and Corey deVos explore the multifaceted nature of integral psychotherapy, emphasizing the importance of therapists finding their own healing style and the role of personal cosmologies in shaping therapeutic practice. They delve into the complexities of blending different integral systems, highlighting potential blind spots in integral cosmology and the challenges of extending beyond one’s mastery. The conversation also touches on the impact of generational events and the internet on mental health and societal norms.

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Shadows of Development

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Join Keith Martin-Smith and Kim Barta for an exclusive discussion as they delve into the world of shadow and ego development. Kim is a seasoned therapist, coach, and educator with over 40 years of experience who has dedicated his career to the resolution of shadow material. His unique perspective on the intersection of development, trauma, and attachment disorders combines the best of developmental psychology with depth psychology.

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How Self-Hatred Can Lead to Self Transformation

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Dr. Keith and Corey explore how feelings of self-hatred and self-loathing, when combined with compassionate self-awareness and the natural resilience of Witness consciousness, can help us overcome our resistance to change and put us back on the path of increasing wholeness, happiness, and self-acceptance. It’s an incredibly powerful discussion that we hope will help you better navigate some of these darkest corners of your own psyche.

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How Attachment Theory Can Improve Your Relationships

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As Dr. Keith often reminds us, “Everything is relationships.” And the earliest relationships we form in our lives often set the tone and cadence for all the other relationships we will ever form in our lives. The coping strategies we learn in preadolescence become our inner compass later in life, and our efforts as grownups can often be seen as expressions, compensations, or substitute gratifications for the sense of security we may or may not have felt as children.

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Perspectives on Development: Introducing the STAGES Model

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Terri O’Fallon takes us on a guided journey through her STAGES model, an integrally based development model that charts human development from infancy to the highest levels of development that humans are capable of. Terri’s research is based in the number of perspectives a person can take (1st through 7th) – and she explains how different levels of fluency with these perspectives can often cause us to talk “past” or “over” one another, and how familiarizing ourselves with these perspectives can help us stop doing that.

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Psychedelic Therapy and the Politics of Consciousness

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In the recent 2022 midterm elections, Colorado joined the state of Oregon in its decriminalization of psychedelic substances for therapeutic use. Here Dr. Keith and Corey explore some of the major implications of this profound legal shift, both in terms of our overall emotional, psychological, and spiritual health, as well as our rapidly evolving “politics of consciousness” — those states of consciousness that are sanctioned by the state, versus those that are not.

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How Change Works: Supporting Vertical Development

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Dr. Keith and Corey explore some critical strategies to help support ongoing growth to increasing wholeness in ourselves and in other people: finding a psycho-spiritual framework to help organize our knowledge, experiences, and practices (e.g. Integral metatheory), engaging in change work (psychotherapy, coaching, consulting, etc.), and seeking communities of people who we recognize as more developed than ourselves.

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Personality as the Base Note of Change Work

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Watch as Dr. Keith offers a “Psychotherapy Masterclass” that helps us work with various personality types as a foundation for healing, change, and self-actualization. While intended for other psychotherapy professionals, this discussion offers valuable insight for all of us, and can be immediately applied to our personal transformational work, whatever that may be.

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An Integral Approach to Parenting in the First Three Years of a Child’s Life

This article provides an introduction to the possible span and depth considered when applying an Integral approach to parenting during early childhood. The relationship between Integral Theory and the practice of parenting is addressed, and key principles and concepts that underlie Integral Parenting are discussed. The task of parenting is placed within an evolutionary context and presented as a possible Integral practice. Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory serves as an inspiration and organizing matrix.

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Adverse Childhood Experiences: Overview, Response Strategies, and Integral Theory

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Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been involved in an ongoing collaboration with Kaiser Permanente’s Department of Preventive Medicine, where they have designed a large and epidemiologically sound study exploring the role of “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs) on social and health outcomes later in life. This research brings a distinct and compelling relationship between ACEs, health risk behaviors, and physical and mental health into awareness. This article outlines these research findings, pointing also to the role of ACEs in homelessness and criminal justice involvement and addressing service delivery implications. Integral Theory is used to explain ACEs as an underlying syndrome, and Integral Restorative Processes is presented as a useful and flexible intervention model to guide a comprehensive and effective response.

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How to Teach Kids About Sex and Gender

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What exactly are “developmentally appropriate, age-appropriate” ways to teach kids about sex, gender, and identity, not only for kids in kindergarten through third grade, but throughout the rest of childhood and adolescence? Which aspects are more appropriate to teach at home, and which are appropriate to teach at school? Watch as Dr. Keith and Corey share their thoughts.

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Healing Collective Trauma: We Are All Shareholders in a Traumatized World

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Thomas Hübl, renowned spiritual teacher, author, expert on collective trauma, and creator and facilitator of The Collective Trauma Integration Process, shares fascinating, life changing information about the dynamics of collective trauma — how it is embodied and perpetuated in the language we use, and how we are bound together in a sort of “mutual collusion” that predisposes us to repeat our past, and to repeat over and over the things we would much rather leave behind.

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An Integral Understanding of Narcissism and Gaslighting

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In this episode, Dr. Keith and Corey take a careful look at the strategies and intended results of gaslighting (the effort to make you question your very sanity by convincing you that your memories and perception of reality are somehow incorrect, inconsistent, or unreliable) in our personal and professional relationships, as well as in media, marketing, politics, and society at-large. How can we can better inoculate ourselves from this pernicious form of psychological manipulation? Watch to find out!

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How We Can Hack Our Brain to Become Happier, Healthier, and More Transcendent

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In this inspiring and empowering conversation, Rick Hanson spells out how we can use positive, self-directed neuroplasticity to hardwire our brains in order to become happier, cultivate virtues, deal with cravings, become deeply grounded, turn our desired states into stable traits, and more.

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From Codependence to Interdependence

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Codependent relationships — those relationships where one person needs another, and the other person needs to be needed — are surprisingly common in our lives, regardless of our overall stage of development. In fact, there is a good chance that you have dealt with codependent relationships in the past, or are maybe even struggling with one right now. This discussion will help you to transform those relationships into genuinely interdependent relationships that can transcend and include both healthy dependence and independence.

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Transforming Trauma Into Resilience

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Watch as we take a look at several different kinds of trauma — micro-traumas, big traumas, “pre-verbal” traumas, generational traumas, etc. — and explore how we can shift into a “post-traumatic growth” mindset which, like the kintsugi vase in the image above, allows us to remake ourself into a more resilient, unique, and elegant vessel.

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A Brief Overview of Integral Social Work

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This article seeks to explore Integral Social Work — its meaning and applications. This goal is achieved by exploring the nature of social service in the context of Integral Theory’s AQAL (all- quadrant, all-level) approach. The essence of Integral Social Work is to serve the whole person and the whole of society with the whole of one’s being. This requires that social workers develop themselves, while simultaneously helping others, and society, to develop in as full, complex, and healthy a way as possible.

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Social Work as an Integral Profession

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This article introduces the reader to the profession of social work and its evolution over time. By simultaneously attending to both the person and the environment, social work has been a more comprehensive profession. Although social work has been inherently striving for a more integrative approach from the beginning, it has lacked a meta-theory that could address people, their environments, and integrate previously competing theories. Integral Theory is that meta-theory. Social workers are invited to consider this meta-theoretical approach to the service they provide.

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Jane: An Integral Psychotherapy Case Study (Depression, Identity, and Intimacy in Young Adulthood)

To illustrate the value of the AQAL model for therapists, Paul presents a case study that demonstrates some features of Integral Psychotherapy. He introduces the client and explore three treatment episodes of various lengths. By following the unfolding journey of one client working with an integrally informed psychotherapist, the reader gains a felt sense of at least one way the AQAL model can be clinically applied. Lastly, the client’s situation and progress are explored through an AQAL analysis using the five elements of Integral Theory.

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20th Century Background for Integral Psychology

This paper introduces Integral Psychology (IP) as a mature embrace to the question of what is human nature and how do we best explore it. Historically, wave after wave of various trends and movements have attempted to give psychology a focus and scientific status. After decades of specialization and segmentation (APA has over 50 divisions), IP aims at a mature synthesis of the field. IP mines and integrates the lasting contributions to our understanding of human nature and potential from all psychological schools of thought, disciplinary divisions, and methods of investigation—paying attention to both research and applications. In this paper I explore six of the major historical predecessors to IP: behaviorism, psychoanalysis, humanistic-existential, transpersonal, constructivist-developmental, and positive psychology.

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An Introduction to Integral Psychology

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This article explores how Integral Theory can serve the discipline of psychology in its current, parochial state by offering a framework for unification. While psychology has evolved as a science, the trend toward specialization has rendered it fragmented. Numerous efforts at unification have failed to draw the many specializations together. Until now, no unification theory has offered a sufficiently broad and deep framework to include all aspects of psychology. This paper offers a view of how Integral Theory can serve as a uniting framework for psychology as well as its individual disciplines.

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Inhabit: Your Humility

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Corey and Ryan discuss the importance of cultivating and inhabiting a “confident humility” with relation to our own physical bodies, mental processes, and spiritual health. We also have a fun segment at the end designed to put your own humility to the test, by looking at 10 common integral caricatures — stereotypes that many of us fall into at one point or another during our Integral lives.

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Integral Psychiatry: Five Elements of Clinical Theory and Practice

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Pharmacological treatments are the mainstay of current psychiatric practice as effective treatments for a variety of mental disorders. Many recognize the inadequacy of a purely biological treatment for most patients. The psychiatric field appears to be shifting into a more integrative stance with biological and psychosocial treatments. With the vast array of therapies, the Integral approach attempts to embrace all schools of treatment into a coherent whole. Two elements of the AQAL framework — quadrants and levels — are introduced as relevant aspects for Integral Psychiatry.

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Honesty, Humility, and Reality Distortion Fields

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Dr. Keith and Corey discuss “the H Factor” — a variation of the Big 5 personality typology that adds a critical sixth trait, honesty and humility. Watch as we take a deep dive into the psychological benefits of honest self-reporting, a healthy epistemic humility, and the sorts of “reality distortion fields” that seem to emanate from certain personalities.

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How to Manage Passive Aggression

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Watch as Dr. Keith and Corey explore the many ways passive aggression, anger, and codependence create more separation between people and degrade our capacity for love, while assertive processing of anger creates more intimacy and safety. Learning how to take a pause before aggressive or passive-aggressive action gives the opportunity to cross-validate through all four quadrants, and to take our overall kosmic address into account.

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Escaping Narcissism

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In this episode of Witt & Wisdom we take a careful look at these narcissistic tendencies and how they express themselves in all four quadrants, and at every major stage of development. We hope that this discussion will help you identify whatever narcissistic traits you may be carrying with you, and to consciously wield your positive self-esteem without being seduced by our own self-importance.

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Into the Dreaming

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Our dreams are often drenched in meaning, significance, and symbolism. But it is often very difficult for us to make sense of our experiences in the dream world, and to hoist these treasures out of the surreal and into the real. Our dreams typically communicate to us in the language of the bizarre, and more often than not we need some guidance in order to better understand them and extract whatever wisdoms they may offer us. Watch as Dr. Keith and Corey explore the murky depths of our own unconsciousness, and try to shine some light upon some of the common features we experience in the dream world.

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An Integral Tour of Consciousness Studies

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Consciousness is not only found in the Upper-Left quadrant in Integral Theory, which concerns itself with individual subjectivity and experience; rather consciousness is located in each of the four quadrants. This short essay examines how consciousness reveals itself and is studied in each of the four quadrants within Integral Theory.

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Consciousness as Embodied, Embedded, Enmeshed

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Consciousness is all too often understood purely in subjective terms. An Integral approach recognizes that subjectivity is only one of four dimensions to consciousness. This article proposes that consciousness (subjectivity) cannot be understood independent of its co-arising with bodies (objectivity), cultures (intersubjectivity), and systems (interobjectivity).

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COVID-19 Through the Lens of the Enneagram

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How are different Enneagram types dealing with these new life conditions that are being imposed upon us all? What are the different coping strategies and pain points and opportunities for transformation? How can the Integral Enneagram help us bring more care, compassion, and connection to our own integral family? Watch this very special episode to find out.

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The Meaning of Coincidence

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Dr. Keith and Corey take an integral look at synchronicity, exploring this elusive phenomena through the lenses of the four quadrants, the major states of consciousness, the twenty tenets, and Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of morphic resonance. It is a fun and fascinating discussion, and one that will hopefully help you pay a bit closer attention whenever you feel your own four quadrants falling into perfect and seamless symmetry.

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Creating a Coherent Life Story

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Dr. Keith and Corey discuss the primary goal of psychotherapy — to help people experience themselves every day as living a happy ending to their life so far, and at the very beginning of a wonderful and exciting new chapter. This goal, of course, requires a more integrated self in order to meet the inevitable challenges, triggers, and opportunities that we will encounter on the path of growing up, and for us to be able to create a cohesive and coherent life story for ourselves as we move forward

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A More Unifying Psychotherapy

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Andre Marquis, PhD, is associate professor of counseling and human development and author of several books and scholarly articles in the field of Integral Psychology. Today Andre talks to Ken Wilber about his most recent book, Integral Psychotherapy: A Unifying Approach, which explores how a more comprehensive understanding of the self can greatly enhance, enrich, and energize the therapeutic experience for both patient and practitioner.

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The Many Ways We Grow

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Human development is uneven, which means that we are better at some things than we are at others. Some skills come more naturally to us, and others are more difficult to acquire. Watch as Ken and Corey explore each of these developmental capacities in detail, offering a powerful summary of human potentials, talents, and intelligences — a comprehensive map of the territory of “you” that will help guide your own ongoing growth and development.

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An Integral Understanding of Suicide

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Suicide has been in existence as long as self-aware consciousness has been in existence. The gift of self-aware consciousness included the capacity for humans to anticipate and understand the inevitability of their own deaths, and all gifts come with a price. In this series of videos, Dr. Keith Witt talks to Jeff Salzman and Corey deVos about bringing a more integral understanding and compassion to the topic of suicide.

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The Butterfly and the Hawk: How “Dual Focus” Can Help You Overcome Pain, Anxiety, and Trauma

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A common element of many trauma treatments, most psychotherapy, and much spiritual practice is something called “dual focus” — our capacity to anchor ourselves in the feeling of being safe, capable, and worthy in the present moment, while simultaneously extending our awareness to distressing feelings, thoughts, memories, impulses, judgments, and events.

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Themes of Emergence: Awareness, Responsibility, and Mutuality

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Culture wars and cognitive dissonance. Consensus trance on climate change. #MeToo and emergent mutuality. Tantric sexuality and karma yoga. Self-awareness and personal responsibility. Join us as Keith explores some of these converging themes, as well as questions from the audience around social trauma, education, and broken-hearted enlightenment.

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Heal Thyself: How to Repair Interpersonal and Cultural Injuries

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The Buddha had it right with “life is suffering”! We all regularly feel injured by other people, our own interior struggles, cultural events, or random chance. Repairing these injuries is a big deal! Luckily, Integrally informed psychology can help us recognize and repair injuries. In this upcoming episode of Live with Dr. Keith we’ll talk about how we all become injured and the steps we often need to take for effective repair.

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Politics, Addiction, and Mental Health: The Path to Recovery

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In this interview Chris recounts some of the surreal feelings he’s having as the Trump administration continues to disrupt the social, political, and cultural status quo. He speaks to the impact Trump is having on the mental health communities that he serves — as safety net budgets for social services are eliminated, those with mental health issues are often the first to feel the pain.

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Normal Crazy vs. Extra Crazy: Disarming Your Defensive States

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When we feel safe, we are usually comfortably social with ourselves and others. When we feel threatened, our nervous systems (our adaptive unconscious, our Shadow selves) can generate defensive states to protect us. These states amplify or numb emotions, distort perspectives, pump out destructive impulses, and diminish self-reflection and empathy. Watch as Dr. Keith Witt offers some valuable guidance to help you disarm these defensive states whenever they arise for you.

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Race, Rooted Cosmopolitanism, and Hope in the 21st Century

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The political storm that has visited the United States over the past few years have exposed a number of crises: cultural, political, and environmental. One of these crises is our society’s ongoing struggles with how we define and treat one another according to our ideas of “race.” The moment is ripe for bringing together healthier understandings of ethnic identity that can replace the largely toxic idea of race from our past. In this episode of Psychology Now, special guest Greg Thomas joins co-host Mark Forman to discuss these issues.

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Growing, Relating, Connecting: An Integral Tour of Couples Therapy

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In this episode of Psychology Now, Dr. Keith and Dr. Mark dive into the wide world of couples therapy and relationships, using the Integral lens to locate some of the deeper principles and key insights that leading couples therapists’ employ to help couples develop loving, growth-orientated, grounded relationships. Includes six key practices that you can try right now to enhance your relationship.

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Psychedelics in Psychotherapy

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Special guest Dr. Elliott Ingersoll joins Doctors Keith Witt and Mark Forman to share their personal and professional experiences with psychedelics while reviewing relevant research, current practices, and the amazing potentials of these treatments. Therapists need as many tools as possible to remediate symptoms, enhance health, and support development. The way we see it therapies utilizing psychedelics will become increasingly available and likely useful in the years to come.

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Into the Void and Back Again: Understanding and Recovering From Depression

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Depression is a powerful mood disorder and – after anxiety – the most prevalent of all mental health challenges. In this episode of Psychology Now, Dr. Witt and Dr. Forman dive deeply into the topic of depression, and how our struggles with depression can lead to deepened commitment to change, heightened self-understanding, and increased empathy for the suffering of others.

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The Spectrum of Brokenness: What to Do When You’re Dealing With a Personality Disorder

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Nearly 1 in 10 people possess some form of personality disorder. Which means there’s a very good chance that you will encounter someone with this disorder at some point in your life… if you haven’t already. They might be your boss, your lover, your parent, your spiritual teacher, or even your presidential candidate. How can we engage these personalities with care and compassion, while remaining fully attentive to our own personal boundaries? Listen to find out!

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Human 101: The Psychology of the Future

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How can we formulate an approach to psychology that honors and embraces every legitimate aspect of human consciousness and pulls these multiple aspects together into a single coherent model of the human mind? Watch as Ken Wilber offers one of the finest and most complete summaries of an Integral approach to psychology he has ever recorded, while suggesting how a more comprehensive understanding of human consciousness can help shape a better, kinder, and more sustainable future.

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Knowing Your Shadow: Healing the Broken Self

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Exploring the full spectrum of disassociated shadow material in our lives (pain, shame, guilt, dark emotions, sexual shadows, spiritual shadows, etc.) and the ways that we can begin cleaning up and reintegrating these splintered pieces of our psyche, Robert Augustus Masters talks to Ken Wilber about his recent audio course, Knowing Your Shadow.

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Atlas Evolved: The Life and Loves of Nathaniel Branden

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Nathaniel Branden, Ayn Rand’s former lover and the inspiration for her famous John Galt character, was at ground zero during the rise of the Objectivist movement. Listen as Nathaniel offers an intimate insider’s view of the origins, major contributions, and inevitable limitations of Rand’s philosophy and the intellectual movement it sparked. Masterfully hosted by Ken Wilber, this talk offers invaluable insight into Ayn Rand’s legacy, the human potential movement, romantic love, self-esteem, self-transcendence, and the art of conscious living.

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The Shadow Vignettes: A Tale of Reintegration in Six Parts

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Ken Wilber offers what’s got to be one of his most hilarious teachings to date. His focus is on shadow, but this time he adopts a more practice-oriented perspective, offering examples of shadow at each of six levels of development—featuring conversations with a stripper, a monster, a man burning in eternal flame, a radiant being, an oil tanker, and Gaia. As for what these conversations entail, you’ll just have to experience them yourself….

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The Power of Premonitions

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More than an examination of case studies, The Power of Premonitions reveals the world of science and research that proves the human capacity for knowing the future. Experiments consistently show that human beings are as wired to know what’s coming next as we are to see, feel, hear and think. Dossey uses cutting-edge science to prove the value of what had long been considered the provenance of mystic charlatans and to show readers how to cultivate their natural abilities.

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Indigenous Cultures in the Modern World

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A published author in the areas of trauma, group counseling, and applied Integral theory in counseling ethics engages Ken Wilber on why it’s so difficult to find Integrally-minded individuals in the indigenous peoples of his native British Colombia—an issue experienced globally, but expressed here as deep interest and care for those living in a modern Canada.

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Telling the Story of Development

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Susanne Cook-Greuter, one of the most important developmental psychologists working today, shares her path from a working-class family in Switzerland to academic excellence and innovation at Harvard University, exploring the higher stages of consciousness available to us all. She then shares her thoughts on the current state of academia and the culture at large, and why it‘s so important to encourage flourishing at every stage of development alongside the invitation to keep growing.

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Introduction to Ego Development

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Susanne Cook-Greuter is an internationally recognized researcher in mature ego development and self-actualization. You may have noticed her name alongside Robert Kegan’s, Clare Graves’, and Jane Loevinger’s in Ken’s book, Integral Spirituality. Her sentence completion tests are sophisticated enough to tease out the subtle differences between Teal, Turquoise, Indigo, and Violet altitudes of development.