Interview with Linda Gregory, about her new book Three Paths to Self-Actualisation and Autonomy, for Therapists and Clients; Integration of Transactional Analysis, Spirituality and Quantum Field.
DL: Linda, congratulations on writing this lovely book which integrates TA, spirituality and quantum field. It has been a real pleasure reading it. I personally found it very helpful in thinking about my own spirituality. I enjoyed the permission and inspiration your book gave me. I am currently working towards CTA and I have been researching ways to integrate spirituality into my work. Your book is a treasure so thank you for taking the time to speak to me for this spirituality issue. First of all, please tell us about yourself and professional practice.
LG: Thank you Dee. Wonderful that you are now embracing this part of you. It touches my heart to hear how my work has helped you. I have been in private psychotherapy practice and training Transactional Analysis (TA) candidates for forty plus years. (I am in my late 70’s.) I am semi-retired now; however, I love working. Transactional Analysis theory, as well as being a qualified Imago therapist, and a Heart Math practitioner keep me interested and enjoying my work. I enjoy the experience of clients growing and students learning and working towards their full potential. I live one hour South of Perth, WA. Australia. I was born in the USA and migrated to Australia in 1966. I have presented at several national and international conferences, and for the last two years I have been teaching spirituality and Redecision with the China and Russian TA schools. I am loving that.
DL: I really appreciated how easy to read your book was. To be honest, with quantum field in the subtitle, I was expecting it to be quite complex! What inspired you to write this book and can you say something about your writing style?
LG: I have been a seeker of spirituality all my life, and for many years feel this topic needs to be integrated into TA training. I feel it may be the next evolutionary step to TA training and practice. Being connected to our spiritual self is essential to mental health many believe. I want my readers to be relaxed and enjoy reading my books, so I intentionally write in an easy-to-read-style. I don’t enjoy reading hard complex books myself, so I don’t want to inflict that on my readers.
DL: I agree! I don’t enjoy complex books either. So how did you embark on your own journey of spirituality and self-actualisation?
LG: I have been driven to be a seeker of spirituality since childhood. It comes from my Physis drive I believe. I had a couple of peak experiences of getting in touch with my deep inner self that inspired me to keep searching for truth.
DL: What does spirituality mean to you?
LG: At this point in my life, it is my knowing and experiencing that I am one with the universe/God/higher self/source. It means listening to my inner knowing and being guided by source, rather than my ego mind. This guidance comes via intuition mostly. This is of course true for all. We are all one with each other and the universe.
DL: That’s a lovely description. Who do you hope will benefit from reading this book?
LG: My main intended readers are Transactional Analysis therapists and counsellors, and their clients, as well as all other helping professionals. However, I have written my book in a style that anyone can read and benefit from. A person in therapy or counselling can take the book to their therapist and have the therapist assist them through the exercises and meditations in my book.
DL: Were there any challenges or surprises for you in writing this?
LG: In my writing what surprises me is how I am guided by my higher self as to what to write. New ideas come to me that I have not known before, and I therefore learn. My initial challenge was to trust these new intuitive ideas and write them.
DL: I am glad you did. I really enjoyed reading and trying out your guided meditations. I wasn’t expecting any, so really pleased to see some included. How did you choose which meditations to include?
LG: The meditations in my book have evolved from my years of working with clients and finding out what works for healing and growth. Many people seem so have lost touch with their inner Child and the value of their Being state. To self-actualise I believe people need to be connected and loving to their Child Ego state, as well as other parts of self, as in Nurturing Parent, our spiritual higher-self, and future self. The several meditations bring my reader to these connections.
DL: How do you introduce the theme of spirituality and quantum field to clients? Do you meet resistance or scepticism?
LG: This is an important question. I believe therapists and counsellors need to let clients know they are open to discuss spirituality. Asking questions such as, “What are your thoughts or beliefs about spirituality? What do you believe self-actualisation is? Is it important to you? What do you know or believe about our connection to life’s energy that we live in? What do you experience about creating what you want in life?”
I feel it is important to let clients know we are willing to talk about these topics. Otherwise, clients may feel the topic is taboo. Yes, at times I have had resistant clients who tell me they don’t believe in that “crazy’ stuff.” I then tell them that is fine, and I don’t mention it again unless they do.
DL: It does seem to be a taboo subject which is a pity, I think. I haven’t yet come across that much writing about spirituality and TA. Has this been your experience too and if so, why do you think spirituality isn’t talked about very much in TA?
LG: Historically there has not been much written, however, Berne did say in 1966, “We treat them, God cures them.” (The reference to this is in the bibliography of my book.) I think Berne would have said more had he lived longer. I wrote a paper on this topic some years ago. Muriel James wrote many years ago about the core self. There have been a few writers over the years, and I think more are writing on the topic now. Vann Joines, Keith Tudor, Ken Mellow, are a few that I have read.
I think it has taken some years to get past the contaminated (in my view) belief that it is “Magical Thinking.” I hope the topic becomes more discussed now.
DL: Yes, some people do have the view that spirituality is magical thinking – so what are your personal views?
I came to TA training as a long-time meditator and experienced this “Magical Thinking” view from my trainer when I tried to discuss spirituality and meditation. I put the topic aside until I completed my training. Then I started to speak out and present at conferences on spirituality. There are still some who have this “magical thinking” idea, but not as many. There is now much scientific evidence to dispel this belief. It is now said by many that science is now proving what spiritual people have known for centuries. Science and Spirituality are coming together. Exciting I feel.
DL: Yes, definitely exciting! So, what are the main links between TA and spirituality and QF, as you see it? Tell us how you came up with the idea of tying the three strands together.
LG: TA is about clearing old negative beliefs, deconfusing and decontaminating one’s Child ego state, connecting to, and loving one’s core inner Child, having high self-esteem, reaching autonomy, spontaneity, and intimacy, learning to love self and others, being in touch with their Physis drive to become all they can be, to name a few TA examples. All this leads to connecting to individual spirituality. Then to know that we are all one and connected to the loving energy field that we live in is spiritual awareness. This energy, the Quantum Field, is impacted by our thoughts; we create our lives through our thinking. Where we place most of our attention is what will be manifested in our lives. Therefore, clearing our negative beliefs, Script issues etc. through TA, and learning how to think correctly, will enliven spiritual awareness and learning how to live and manifest through the QF is important.
DL: I appreciate the way you explain things so clearly! In your book, you talk about being a Heart Math practitioner and you encourage clients to listen to their heart and gut. Why is this important to you?
LG: Research from Heart Math shows that our heart has more of a brain than our brain. Chemical reactions from our heart and gut give us intuitive guidance. Heart Math exercises bring our hearts to coherence and increases intuition. Learning to live in the Now of life, being open to intuitive guidance, being watchful and listening to the ever newness of life is important, I think. When we are caught up in our mind we are lost in the cycle of past and future and lose the new Now of life.
DL: Absolutely. How do the concepts of Physis and intuition apply to your work?
LG: I believe our Physis drive leads us to our inner spiritual connection, and drives us to self-actualisation, becoming all we are coded to be via the QF, IF we follow our Physis drive through listening to our intuition. The phrase, ‘Be still and listen to the still small voice inside,” is important.
DL: Such a lovely phrase. Which practitioner inspires you the most? And why?
LG: There are many teachers and writers who have made me who I am. In TA, Bob and Mary Goulding were my first inspiration, from there pretty much all the TA writers and teachers. Outside TA there are many. I started reading J. Krishnamurti years ago. From there, Jean Houston, Dr J. Dispenza, D. Chopra, L. Cozolino, W. Dyer, A, Schore, E. Tolle, more recently, C. Zammitt and C. Hamilton to name a few. My book lists all who have inspired me. Why? They all have touched my inner knowing of truth and have contributed to who I have become.
DL: I will check it out! In your last chapter of the book, you talk about what we can do to help the world – can you say a little about that here?
Research and many experiments are showing that when enough people create positive intentions, are in collective coherence, which feeds the QF field with positive feelings and thoughts, we can change the world. Meditation and collective heart felt cohesion, positive intentions, are needed now for change.
DL: What an inspiring and hopeful thought. I’d love to know if you have any other books in the pipeline? Or previous works?
LG: My previous book, Past, Present and Future is the forerunner to this book. I also talk about spirituality in this book, and it has much more about TA theory and how to make changes. It’s available from Amazon and www.drlindagregory.com
DL: I’ll check it out! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to The Transactional Analyst. I’m sure your words will inspire many of our readers to be curious about how they can integrate these three fields. Is there anything else at all you want to say?
LG: This book has been developed into a six-week course that I present on Zoom to groups who request it. I feel with each answer I could easily say more. I realise if I do that, I will be writing my book again. The last thing I would like to add is this quote:
“When a complex system is far from equilibrium, small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos have the capacity to shift the entire system to a higher order.” -Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Laureate
Dr. Linda Gregory TSTA, (ITAA) Ph.D. Sociology Murdoch University, Perth WA, Australia
Linda provides TA training via modules and videos from her on-line platform. These can be completed at one’s own pace. The hours can count for CTA preparation. Clinical Supervision is also available via Zoom or Skype. Linda is married with three grown children, five grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Enjoys reading, fishing, gardening, and quilting.
Gregory Institute for Transactional Analysis.