Being a spiritual person means different things to different people. Research shows that some of the most basic problems people face in life have a spiritual dimension. At the core of its definition, spirituality defines someone’s purpose in life and how they perceive the idea that something more powerful than themselves controls their destiny. Although this explanation can be viewed in psychological terms, many people have a profound and existential belief that should not be ignored by a therapist trained in religious diversity.
It is known and respected by most mental health professionals that spirituality extends across creed and culture. Its very idea encourages people to practice acceptance, self-control, and forgiveness, which allows them to maintain a healthy lifestyle, create meaningful relationships, and care for their emotional well-being.
For those striving to attain or maintain spirituality and struggling to overcome negativity in their lives, therapy is an effective solution.
Sudden loss, a medical diagnosis, or a major life transition can cause someone to lose faith or question their beliefs. Not only does it affect someone’s emotions, it can be detrimental to one’s mental health.
Combining spirituality and psychotherapy allows for a holistic approach to helping someone to talk about their faith, or lack thereof, in a safe environment. The main techniques used by therapists are empathic listening, facilitation of emotional expression, and problem solving.
Mental health professionals trained in religious diversity have the ability to incorporate a richness and depth to a therapy session that allow for meaningful conversations about one’s purpose in life. Most treatment methods require trust between a therapist and client to facilitate an open and honest dialogue about the events or circumstances that led to the demise of their spirituality, as well as to focus on ways to improve their journey through life. Sessions start by having the client examine what is inevitable in life — birth and death. Desensitization to morality will allow people to let go of fear and examines what lifestyle changes will help them avoid turmoil. Therapists will often teach clients how to forgive and accept others, provide techniques for self-control and how to let go of negative thoughts and behaviors, and encourage clients to keep a journal to record their progress.
Spiritual therapists are also effective when someone doubts their beliefs, but are unable to seek counsel from their religious leaders for fear of being considered inadequate as a believer. Others find therapy helpful for being able to develop their ethical code, resolve disagreements with their belief system, or simply deal with issues that have developed from the spirituality within their lives.
The overall goal is for someone to identify the meaningful and realistic factors involved in practicing spirituality to lessen the affects of their reaction to loss, illness, or any other limitations life throws their way.
If you'd like to talk to someone about spirituality, please contact us.