Gregg Henriques' Colorful Carnival of Psychotherapeutic Metatheory

future of health
UTOK IS A WARAY-WARAY AUSTRONESIAN WORD MEANING "BRAIN."  That's interesting.  It is also an acronym for Gregg Henriques' Unified Theory of Knowledge. 

Gregg Henriques somewhat resembles a Renaissance alchemist.  His exuberant project to produce an integrated emergent model of the natural sciences combines professional academic rigor with quasi-occult symbolism, colorful imagination, cosmic maps, visionary experience, ritual enactments & individual psychological transformation.  This would not sound odd to Paracelsus or Cagliostro but it certainly stands out in mainstream university psychology departments.

And yet the very vitality, audacity, synoptic insight and hyperfocus on integrative wellbeing that might earn a glance askance in the halls of academia are -- from the viewpoint of the emerging transformation communities -- signs of the necessary shift.

Originally, Gregg set out to wrestle with the problem of psychology -- i.e. that the discipline was fundamentally ungrounded because it lacked a coherent, unified notion of the "psyche" shared across the different schools of therapy and analysis.  A good project but he didn't stop there. 

He went on combining his voracious appetite for theory-building with his personal peak experiences and his expanding web of leading-edge interlocutors to build up a general integrative model of emergent scientific naturalism that incorporates the phenomenology of spirit.  That put him in play across the integrative, liminal & metamodern world.  Here he is with John Vervaeke.  On Jim Rutt.  On the Integral Stage.  Etc. 

But he didn't stop there either.

He wanted to encode his meta-architeture not only in writing but in images, symbols & ritual spaces.  These forms of his expression are vivid, idiosyncratic, dense and intriguing.  At the 2022 Autumn Metamodern Spirituality Retreat in Vermont, the community provided critical and supportive feedback in a UTOK "focus group" to explore the peculiarities of Gregg's iconography and phrasing.  To be interested in, and capable of receiving, such feedback is very much to his credit.

There are certainly other Big Picture theorists.  There are even others who began with an attempt to co-validate different schools of psychotherapy (Ken Wilber, for one).  Yet Gregg is different for two reasons: 

Firstly, he is risking the public expansion of his personal symbolism in a model that strongly approximates the wild tone of an alchemical notebook (or perhaps an esoteric Buddhist primer for precocious kids). 

Secondly, his direct specialization in both clinical and theoretical psychology places the widespread mental health crisis and the problem of real-world, supportive interventions at the heart of the model. 

That's rare.

That's very encouraging.


Explore the ideas of unified psychology in Gregg's popular blog on Psychology Today and in Gregg's podcast.