Centre for Integrative Development is an organisation involved in personal development through the first school of integrative psychology, body-oriented psychotherapy and spirituality established in Croatia and this part of Europe. Together with the school, CID is engaged in the promotion of personal development by providing lectures, workshops and trainings on specific topics. The Centre was developed as a result of the long-standing education, work and research in the area of personal development carried out by its two founders – Laslo Pinter and Tomislav Senečić – who further researched and developed their experience gained in international trainings and who, over many years of practice, developed their own integrative method.
Our training at the Snowlion Center School founded by Rolf T. Steiner was based on the methods of Barbara A. Brenan and involved the healing of the psychodynamics of the human energy field, together with the approach of the body-oriented psychotherapy. Upon the completion this training, we began to work at the Snowlion Center School as assistant teachers. In 2001, we established a Croatian branch of the Snowlion School and admitted the first generation of students. Over time, the parent Snowlion School became focused on the specific segments of spirituality and distanced itself from the psychodynamic work that was promoted initially.
Due to our growing focus on psychodynamics in our practice, we separated from the Snowlion School and started creating a programme that would combine the principles of the integrative personal development, and the resolution of the prepersonal and early personal psychodynamics.
Therefore, the Centre for Integrative Development was created by redefining its programme as a combination of work on the prepersonal, personal and transpersonal psychodynamics as the important parts of human reality.
In its practice, CID integrates the ideas and methodologies of different approaches to psychotherapy and spirituality within the integrative method, which we improved by using the abovementioned basis.
In our work with personality, we use psychoanalytical and clinical theories relating to early childhood development, based on the work of Margaret Mahler and Daniel Stern. Their knowledge of object relations connected with the attachment theory of John Bowlby and Mary Ainshworth provides a wider view of the psychodynamics of the development of a human ego. In our approach to psychodynamics we also use the main principles of Jungian analytical psychology and evolutionary psychology, which essentially supports many of the Jungian principles.
Along with the aforementioned understanding of psychodynamics, we also use the teaching of Pathwork, spiritual psychology introduced to the world by Eva Pierrakos, and Core-energetics, a neo-Reichian body-oriented psychotherapy founded by John Pierrakos. By using the model of a three-layered psyche – the Higher Self, the Lower Self and the Mask – we include in our work the recognition of ego-identifications present in all three layers.
Complementary to Pathwork and transpersonal psychology, in the integrative interpretation of the human psyche we also use the integral model of Ken Wilber, whose work is focused on interpreting the human psyche and its evolutionary nature. In addition, we find the proof of the efficiency of our work methods in the most recent discoveries of neuro-psychology.
Along with the above listed methods, in our spiritual work we use some principles of the model presented by A. Hameed Ali and his Diamond Approach, as well as the esoteric teachings of Stylianos Atteshlis – Daskalos.
On the other hand, in our approach to trauma, joy and pain, we combine the methods of Peter A. Levine with the clinical approach of the CIL, a school focused on working with the early trauma.
In our work with trauma we developed our own model by integrating a theoretical approach of the aforementioned models with the body-oriented approach, i.e. body-emotional process work.
Dance and movement also represent an important part of our programme. Through dance, our students are given the opportunity to experience, in a new and spontaneous way, the certain aspects of their own personality, which are not so easily accessed by more controlled and static methods of work.
Healing by laying on of hands is another aspect of work that we use within our approach. Indulging in positive intention, support and the energy flowing from the hands and energy field of the person who acts as a channel and directs the healing energy towards the person who receives it, is a wonderful multidimensional experience difficult to explain by words. Work by laying on of hands also affects the specific zones in the human body and psyche, i.e. it affects the subtle bodies that cannot be reached in this way by other types of work.
Through years of work experience we found out that people who take the spiritual path usually have large gaps in understanding and accepting the certain aspects of their own personality. If they decide to take a one-sided approach to their personal development, without being familiar with the basics of the functioning of the human psyche, they are most likely to become stuck in an unproductive work, without any constructive results. They will develop a spirituality that will be unable to provide any constructive link to the challenges of everyday life.
Due to the abovementioned difficulties, we take the first step by informing our students about the main principles of the functioning of the human psyche. We provide them with a holistic map of the human being and explain the importance of the certain aspects of work, as well as the way in which they intertwine. After that we propose the guidelines and the main stages of work.
In the second step, we focus on the completion of the psychic incompleteness of our students, corresponding with the phases in their prepersonal (experience gained in the first 3 years of life) and early childhood development (from the age of 3 to adolescence). In parallel with the gradual healing of this early incompleteness of the parts of the psyche which the healthy functioning of the human ego is based on, we are assisting our students in building a healthy adult ego in the parts of their psyche where they feel this deficiency. Such work on integration enables our students to become rooted in the sense of personal satisfaction, which brings stability to their everyday lives.
The next important step in our approach is to provide space for experience through which the students connect with the deepest part of their own psyche, the Higher Self, i.e. with the secret, essential and core-like personality, which is permanent and stable in its nature, and ensures the feeling of peace and calmness that cannot be provided by the ever-changing surface of our human psyche guided by a separated ego.
In this aspect of our work we help the students to gradually integrate the external, separated part of their personality – ego personality – with the internal – essential or permanent personality– that is –selfhood or Higher Self– (to mention just a few of the terms used by the schools of spirituality when naming the central part and the origin of the human psyche). In our understanding, such integrated, unified personality represents a true goal of the spiritual development and the evolutionary path of the human race.
Considering that in today’s society, as well as in the culture we live in, material success and fulfilment through material aspect and external life are given a great importance, we consider it to be our mission to bring the focus back to our actual and truly fulfilling innate needs. We realised that the classical education system in our society lacks any clear guidelines and instructions addressing the fact that we might ‘get lost’ in life, and if we do ‘get lost’, there is nothing there to help us to ‘return’ to ourselves and find the stability that was lost.
Since we have experienced this lack of guidelines in our own unpleasant and painful life experiences, and since we tried to overcome this through years of searching and making great efforts, we decided to create a system of training through which we could help those who have found themselves in similar situations, to recreate the stability and satisfaction that they lack in their perception of selfhood. Through the CID programmes we open the perspective and provide practical training designed to support our students in acquiring the clear orientation and realisation in the outside world and their interpersonal relationships, by also helping them to integrate their external life and their innate spiritual nature.
To summarise, we promote an approach to personal development and spirituality which does not alienate the students from the material and technological aspect of living, nor excludes them from the interpersonal relationships. This approach widens the perspective and brings home the part that we know is missing, and for which there is a primary need on both, social and individual level – it is the expansion and integration of our personality through becoming deeply rooted in our own authentic spiritual core. In that sense, our trainings and programmes are oriented towards a harmonious development of all aspects of our human nature.
* Laslo Pinter, Tomislav Senečić, Enesa Mahić, Svjetlana Bukovec, Matea Blažević, Nina Senečić and Maja Petković full member of EABP (European Association for Body Psychotherapy)