Harry Stack Sullivan: Opening the Door for a Transpersonal Vision?


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Abstract

As an apparently typical neo-Freudian theorist, Harry Stack Sullivan may appear to have had little to offer to the development of transpersonal thought. Yet a closer examination of his work reveals several elements in his theorizing that (1) are surprising, given his intellectual heritage, and (2) allow for the extension of his theorizing in the direction of a transpersonal perspective. Sullivan's views on the nature and origin of anxiety, the inescapability of anxiety, empathy, and the need for sleep are examined with an eye toward parallels between his views and a transpersonal perspective. It is suggested that these elements of Sullivan's work provide a type of bridge between conventional and transpersonal perspectives on self and personality development.

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