The topic of this blog is human development and particularly the role of integration in human development. Human development seeks to understand
how and why people change over time. An interesting way of approaching the concept is looking at the growth of human capabilities, a widening of choices, freedom, and human rights. On the personal level this means developing mentally, on the social level this means experiencing new learning opportunities in life.
Positive psychology and theories of flourishing may add to human development – as do improvements of economic, educational or political systems.
Integration is part of human development, it is a method and goal in psychology, pedagogy, social work, therapy and politics.
Integration can be defined as the process of ‘forming wholeness’. Parts or aspects come together in a larger functional context. That way meaning, consistency and coherence develop. And often novel perspectives unfold.
On the psychological level integration means “functional cooperation (or concurrence)” of psychological parts or aspects. On the cognitive level it’s often about assimilation and accommodation. On the the emotional and physical level it’s about perceiving and accepting novel, unfamiliar and conflict-laden aspects of the self.
On the social and cultural level integration is about embedding individuals in a larger social group and incorporating the alien and novel into a cultural environment. This may also be called “enculturation”.
In the public use of the term “integration” is used in different ways and various sciences. It is commonly associated with persons, whose social integration (inclusion) is difficult due to outstanding characteristics (poor language proficiency, handicaps, distinctive appearance etc.) – those who run the risk of being excluded and discriminated.
The blog will relate to positive psychology concepts like mindfulness or awareness as instrument and ethical attitude. Awareness may be considered an instrument of accomplishing integration. Sometimes this awareness is equal to meditative consciousness – a form of being which is not primarily about action and certainly is more than bourgeois life style kitsch. “Awareness” may be a humanistic-ecological value system, modern spiritual art of living and “breathing” social criticism.
In this blog you’ll find reports about professional events, too, critical reflexions about every-day-life, which may have private origins and quotes or pictures – theoretical, political or poetical fragments. Because my colleagues and me are concerned with the topic of psychoactive substances professionally this subject may often emerge. Enjoy!