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Spirituality and Psychotherapy

by Ana
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The most difficult thing in life is to know you. The better you know yourself, the more you grow in life. Spirituality is an integral part of our life; therefore spirituality could be connected to psychology and psychotherapy.

Spirituality is not always related to religion. Most of the mental health professionals are reluctant to give religion whole hearted approval. According to them spirituality is an inner experience, universal and without boundaries. Religion, however, is particular and defined by boundaries.

Spirituality

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Spirituality can refer to one’s self exploration, in forms of meditation, prayer and contemplation. Some psychologists have made spirituality a major focus of their work. For them spirituality can be, and should be, a large part of the religious experience.

There are different meanings of spirituality for different classes of persons. One theme of spirituality is “the idea of a process or journey of self-discovery and of learning not only who you are, but who you want to be.” Another is “a higher power, whether rooted in a religion, nature or some kind of unknown essence.”

According to a board certified clinical health psychologist, Sara Rosenquist;“We are all influenced by our values, beliefs, moods, family history, etc., So whatever the therapist’s spirituality is going to influence them to one degree of another.”
She added “It is possible for a therapist to help the patient sort through their own theology and ferret out the beliefs that lead to positive emotions and pro social actions without disclosing his or her own theology.”

Spirituality can be positive or negative. Person’s spirituality is greatly impacted by the community they are a part of and the relationships they take part in.

“Research shows rather consistently that those who have a positive theology and positive spiritual practice do better than people who have a negative theology (i.e., a punishing God and a lot of fears about doing bad or getting it wrong),”

Rosenquist said. “Similarly, people who havea spiritual practice that is positive and amounts to some kind of mindfulness practice do a lot better in therapy and in life.”

People experience mental or soul pain when they have mental health problems. Good mental health leads to a positive self-image and in turn, good relationships with others.

A psychiatrist must know where the problem is, if he/she doesn’t know, it’s hard to fix it. Therapists may inquire about a client’s spiritual beliefs. Spiritual Therapy is a rapidly growing approach to treating the whole person, body and soul.

Spirituality is a common part of therapy. According to Tina Tessina, a licensed psychotherapist; “Therapists should be comfortable with spirituality, and be able to speak in the terms of whatever spiritual practice their clients use.”

Positive spirituality leads to a good mental health. “Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you”.

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