Ontopsychology is a modern school of scientific psychology. Using a few key criteria it can be identified as a part of the humanistic approach. This is a school specialising in studying and analysing a human life span.
As a science, ontopsychology represents not just a humanist but also an existential school of thought in psychology. It manifests itself primarily in the philosophical roots of the ontopsychological knowledge which has integrated the existential idea of authenticity and inauthenticity of human existence.
Ontopsychology (Greek οντος [ontos], the genitive case of the participle of the verb ειμι [eimi] (to be), λóγоς [logos] (study), ψυχή [psyche](soul)) is the psychology of human being in all its integrity and entirety.
Ontopsychology shares the opinion of psychologists from the humanist school of thought regarding the positive potential in a person but gives decisive meaning to people’s choice through which they create their own personalities.
In ontopsychology a person is always understood through the cultural and historical context. In accordance with the way its subject and main objectives were understood and phrased by the founders of this school, Boris Ananiev in Russia and Antonio Meneghetti in Europe, the presupposition of all scientific research in ontopsychology is the idea that one of the main problems of modern psychology is the need to move from fragmented approaches to comprehensive descriptions.
By this we mean the need to extend descriptions from separate phenomena of personal mental life to revealing the logic of an individual’s integral existence in order to provide an analysis of a person’s being in the universe, in the social, historical and cultural context of their existence.
The practical applications of this scientific school of psychology must also be mentioned. The school of ontopsychology is developing its own vision of a person’s existence and the life of a society.
Ontopsychology is a highly practical study which sees the final goal of psychological knowledge in perfecting man and human society. It is practical in the same sense which implied Kurt Lewin, who believed that no research which leads to nothing but more books will be satisfactory.
(extract from ‘Ontopsychology: History and Modern Times’ by V.A. Dmitrieva, N.V. Grishina /Natsionalny psyhologichesky zhurnal/ November 2006)