A Guide on Integral Psychology

Psychology is a very broad field that encompasses a lot of information that involves general human behaviors. Integral psychology is another way most philosophers weave together varieties of seemingly different schools of thought. However, the ‘how to’ of managing to put all these ideas about psychotherapy into practice has not always been clear to therapists. So, even after brilliant scientists manage to put their insights into this topic in question, there still seems to be a lot to be done. A lot of ground to be covered. And here is where this article comes in. to give you a clearer perspective of what integral psychology is about and to appreciate the science it involves. Keep reading to find out more about this intriguing  science.

All Quadrants All  Levels

Also, AQAL, this model is what most psychologists use and forms the basic framework of all integral psychology. This model explains that all human experience and knowledge can be categorized in a four-quadrant grid alongside axes of ‘individual-collective’ and ‘interior-exterior’. Most psychologists believe this is one of the most comprehensive models that explains humankind’s reality. They see it as a metatheory tries to explain how the academic disciplines of all forms of experience and knowledge fit together  coherently.

The four quadrants of AQAL are also divided into several sub-categories. They divide into many levels or development which further divide into several states of  consciousness.

The different ‘levels’ represent the different stages of development of an individual from pre-personal from personal to transpersonal. Each of these four approaches are valid and have a significant role to play in our lives. Even more reason to want to study  them.

The different ‘lines’ represent the lines of development. You can think of them as the different stages or domains of development. These lines can make uneven processes with many developmental stages at the different  domains.

The ‘states’ of consciousness represent terminal experiences that a person may have of a higher developmental  stage.

The ‘types’ is the last category. It is referred to as the rest-category. It is used to categorize the phenomena that do not fit into the other four  concepts.

Many psychologists believe that for an account to be complete, it must include each of the five categories mentioned above. And this accounting for every human concept is what we call ‘integral  psychology.’

The AQAL is topped with formless awareness which basically is this “simple feeling of being” which can also be equated to a range of “ultimates” from many Eastern traditions. You can say this is what transcends this phenomenal world of ours. It ultimately ends up taking the appearance of transcendental reality. According to many psychologists, the AQAL categories which include quadrants, lines, levels, states, plus types, can be used to describe the relative truth behind the two truths  doctrine.


To put things into perspective, we have made things easier for you by elaborating about the quadrants further. In this section, you will learn about the subjective, interior perspective which lies within a person’s circle. And the ones from the outside which is the objective, exterior perspective. You will also learn how integral psychology uses the quadrants to view things from an individual and collective  perspectives.

Each of these approaches has one valid perspective that it offers. social statistics reveal that emotional pain of an individual is one such perspective and is a different perspective but on the same matter. Most psychologists agree that all these perspectives are needed to get an individual’s real appreciation on any  matter.

Here are how these perspectives have been categorized into each  quadrant.

  • The interior individual perspective – it is categorized in the upper-left quadrant which means to interpret people’s interior focuses and experiences. It is an “I” type of focus.
  • Interior plural perspective -it is categorized in the lower-left quadrant and seek to interpret people’s collective consciousness in a society. It focuses on the “We” aspect.
  • Exterior individual perspective – this category is located on the upper-left quadrant and it is limited to observing the behavior of organisms. If focuses on the “It” aspect of viewing things.
  • Exterior plural perspective– this category falls on the lower-right quadrant focuses more on the behavior of a society. That is, the plurality of people. It focuses on the “They” aspect.

The field of psychology is broad and can be viewed from many angles most of which have been tried and tested even in laboratories. But then again, you still find that some of these perspectives and views marginalize or deny the left sides which include individual experience, subjectivity, values, and even feelings. These perspectives are supposedly unproven and are believed to have no meaning or means of measurement. These perspectives can be categorized as  “flatland.”

Psychologists agree that all the four perspectives offer more of a complementary feel rather than a contradictory feel. It is, therefore, possible for all these perspectives to be correct. You also find that all these categories are necessary to have a more complete amount of human existence. According psychologists, as much as each of these perspectives can work, they do so on a partial view of  reality.

This is what is called the basic integral model of psychology. Some people might confuse this with the biopsychosocial model which has also been steadily gaining traction in the psychology and research  worlds.

The psychosocial concept is not a new idea in the psychology field. The only issue is that it is slowly being adapted in the field compared to the other concepts. It is, however, vital to note that it is also a crucial central premise of integral  psychology.

The approach to getting psychological treatment is equally diverse and, depending on your psychologist’s findings, can take many approaches to help you resolve your issue. Most psychoanalytic approaches, when applied in psychology treatments, work better for the early stage dysfunctions. The cognitive therapies work better when applied in the middle stage issues while the transpersonal approaches are excellent for the existential and spiritual issues in their  development.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.