Perhaps not as well known as his contemporaries Freud and Jung, Roberto Assagioli nevertheless left behind an impressive legacy in the form of psychosynthesis. Lombard uses this approach in her 2014 article “Coping with Anxiety and Rebuilding Identity: A Psychosynthesis Approach to Culture Shock.” There are a couple things I like about this article. Firstly, Lombard begins with a pretty good literature review on culture shock. Lombard sees student sojourners as a rapidly increasing population that is willfully engaging in different cultural contexts. Secondly, the self-identification exercise is a unique form of therapy that complements the subpersonality model by allowing distance from “ties that bind” in order to get at the true “I,” or what Lombard refers to as “the observer and director or all their subpersonalities” (10).
In my opinion, while I can see how these two interventions may affect the ABC’s of culture shock, a psychosynthesis approach provides insight into what is going on biologically. I believe a biocultural model of culture shock would provide a better avenue to understanding the phenomenon. Identity is not merely psychologically based.