Gurmat Psychology: Embracing a Decolonized Approach to Therapy

Embracing a Consciousness-Based Approach: Moving Beyond the Colonized View in Western Psychology

As dedicated professionals in the field of Western psychology, it is essential for therapist to critically examine the roots and limitations of the colonised approach. While Western psychological theories have provided valuable insights into the human behaviour, they are not without their biases and shortcomings. In this article, we will explore why Western psychological approaches are colonized versions of psychology and contrast them with the consciousness-based worldview of Gurmat.

Colonized View and Biases in Western Psychology:

  1. Eurocentric Perspectives: Western psychology's historical development in Europe and North America has led to a dominant Eurocentric perspective. This approach tends to universalize Western values, norms, and behaviors, potentially marginalizing the experiences and wisdom of non-Western cultures.
  2. Individualistic Focus: Western psychology often emphasizes individualism and personal achievements, neglecting the significance of community and interconnectedness. This narrow focus can overlook the influence of social and cultural factors on an individual's mental health.
  3. Materialist Worldview: Many Western psychological theories are rooted in a materialist worldview that reduces human experience to purely physical and cognitive processes. This neglects the spiritual dimension and the role of consciousness in shaping human reality.
  4. Pathologizing Diverse Experiences: Western psychological models may pathologize behaviors or beliefs that differ from the Western norm, leading to the stigmatization of culturally diverse expressions.

Gurmat's Consciousness-Based Worldview:

  1. Understanding the Nature of Reality: Gurmat offers a profound understanding of reality, viewing it as the sacred manifestating Consciousness. This perspective acknowledges the interconnectedness of all beings and their inherent spiritual essence.
  2. Mind and Egoic Complex: Gurmat recognizes the complexities of the human mind and ego. Through self-awareness and introspection, individuals  transcend the egoic limitations and foster transpersonal growth.
  3. Psychophysiology: Gurmat provide a detailed understanding on  the interplay between egoic-complex, Haumai and physiology (Psychophysiology) It recognizes the body-mind connection and the role of egoic-complex in shaping mental, emotional, physical and transpersonal well-being.
  4. States of Consciousness: Gurmat describes the Panj Khands (Five Realms of Consciousness), offering a comprehensive framework to understand human experiences at different levels of awareness.
  5. Unhealthy Emotional States (Ipanj Chor): Gurmat identifies the Ipanj Chor (Five Thieves), representing unhealthy emotional states like lust, anger, greed, attachment, and I-amness, all triggering flight-fright mechanism in the body, .
  6. Emotional and self regulation: Through practices such as Symran, meditation including mantra (frequency) based meditation and self-inquiry (Khoj), enabling individuals to recognize and transforming unhealthy emotional states through teh cultivation of self-regulation.

Cultivating Positive Psychology Through Gurmat:

  1. Contentment (Santokh): Gurmat promotes contentment as a key virtue. By cultivating contentment, individuals can cultivate inner peace, managing, reducing and emilinating emotional distress.
  2. Range of Practices and Meditations: Gurmat offers a diverse range of practices and meditations to enhance self-awareness, mindfulness,self-inquiry and spiritual or transpersonal  growth. These practices empower individuals to navigate life's challenges with resilience and grace.
  3. Seva (Selfless Service): Gurmat emphasizes selfless service to others and the community. Engaging in seva fosters a sense of interconnectedness and purpose, contributing to overall well-being.

In conclusion, as Western therapists, it is crucial for therapist to recognize the limitations of the current approach and explore alternative time tested and evidence based perspectives. Embracing the consciousness-based worldview of Gurmat  offers a transformative path to understanding human psychology and promoting optimum mental , emotional, physical and transpersonal health.
By integrating the wisdom of Gurmat into our therapeutic practices, it  enriches current and limited understanding of the human experience and create more inclusive and compassionate therapeutic environments