How To Include Spirituality In Therapy? (Perfect answer)

Integrating religious and spiritual themes into psychotherapy may range from asking the questions about a client’s beliefs, values, and practices to making specific values based recommendations and recommendations for engaging in particular religious activities and practices such as meditation or prayer.

What is spiritual therapy?

  • Spiritual therapy is a therapy that seeks to free the mind of negative energy and replace it with positive healing energy, restoring mind and body. Some forms of spiritual therapy involve meditation.

What is spirituality in therapy?

Spiritual therapy is a form of counseling that attempts to treat a person’s soul as well as mind and body by accessing individual belief systems and using that faith in a higher power to explore areas of conflict in life.

Can therapists be spiritual?

It is not the role of the counselor to prescribe any particular pathway. Counselors can make use of the spiritual and religious beliefs of their clients to help them explore and resolve their problems.

How can counselors maintain spirituality?

Spirituality as a therapeutic strategy “Techniques include use of prayer during a session, ways to direct clients to pray, spiritual journaling, forgiveness protocols, using biblical texts to reinforce healthy mental and emotional habits and working to change punitive God images.”

What are spiritual interventions?

Spiritual interventions are approaches that involve religious or existential aspects such as finding meaning and purpose in life. Spiritual interventions may include activities such as spiritual counseling, meaning-focused meditation, or psychotherapy.

What do u mean by spirituality?

Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than myself, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature.

What happens in a spiritual Counselling session?

In spiritual counselling, the emphasis is on wholeness, dealing with the whole person, and assisting the client in inner balance and integration of all the dimensions of self.

What is spirituality in psychology?

Finding the definition of spirituality of Psychology is about discovering your own inner awareness. It is also about learning and applying the fundamentals of life: forgiveness, being kind, having a giving heart, being honest, and overall just being a good person.

Why is spirituality so important?

It encourages people to have better relationships with themselves, others, and the unknown. Spirituality can help you deal with stress by giving you a sense of peace, purpose, and forgiveness. It often becomes more important in times of emotional stress or illness. Positive impacts of spirituality.

How do I put spirituality into practice?

Praying more, meditating more, attending gatherings of like-minded believers more often and joining a prayer or meditation group are just a few ways you can put your spirituality into practice.

What is the first step when dealing with spirituality in the therapy process?

Integrating Religion and Spirituality into Psychotherapy and Ethical Decision-Making

  1. Respectfully assess the client’s religious or spiritual beliefs and preferences.
  2. Carefully assess any connection between the presenting problem and religious or spiritual beliefs and commitments.

What does a spiritual psychologist do?

What Does a Spiritual Psychologist Do? The main duty of a spiritual psychologist is to counsel people and help them to achieve spiritual wellbeing as well as mental and emotional wellbeing. Many of the patients who seek help from a spiritual psychologist are going through spiritual crises.

What are examples of spiritual needs?

Spiritual needs are those needs for our life to have meaning and purpose:

  • Forgiveness.
  • Reassurance.
  • Acceptance.
  • Hope.
  • Peace.
  • Giving thanks for the goodness of our life.

How do you assess a patient’s spiritual needs?

Most of these assessment tools involve asking the patient questions about their personal spirituality and rituals, faith and beliefs, resources and expectations. They consist of open questions; this enables the assessment of specific aspects of the patient’s beliefs and promotes inclusion.

What is spiritual needs of a patient?

Spiritual needs are those needs whose satisfaction causes the person’s spiritual growth and make the person a social, hopeful individual who always thanks God. They include the need for communication with others, communication with God, and being hopeful.

Spirituality in Therapy, Spiritual Counseling, Therapy for Spirituality

Traditional definitions of spirituality include the search for transcendent meaning or faith that there is something larger than us that exists beyond of time and space. Despite the fact that it can be tied to religion, the practice of spirituality is typically regarded to transcend beyond religion and connect people with something greater, such as the cosmos itself. Therapists and others seeking treatment may be hesitant to incorporate spirituality or religion into the practice of therapy because of the possibility of conflicting views and the potential for controversy around the subject matter.

  • What Is Spirituality
  • What Is Spiritual Wellness
  • Spirituality and Religion
  • Spirituality and Mental Health
  • Spiritual Abuse
  • Spirituality vs. Religion

What Is Spirituality?

Defining Spirituality; Defining Spiritual Wellness; Defining Spiritual Wellness In this section, you can find information about Spirituality vs. Religion, Spirituality and Mental Health, and Spiritual Abuse.

What Is Spiritual Wellness?

Spirituality and physical health are intertwined. The same way that physical wellbeing expresses bodily well-being, spiritual wellness describes the well-being of the spirit. Religious belief can have an impact on one’s spiritual well-being. Some individuals believe that being in touch with nature might help them achieve spiritual wellbeing. Others describe it in terms of their connections with other people. Others may benefit from cultivating spiritual wellbeing by leading a satisfying life in accordance with their particular ideals.

  • Among the possibilities are a greater power, a person’s own sense of meaning and purpose, as well as personal values and belief systems.
  • Because the mind and body are intertwined, when one area of health is compromised, it is possible that other areas of health will be harmed as a result.
  • It is possible that individuals will struggle to find purpose in their lives if they are unable to work, participate in hobbies, or do the routines of daily living on their own.
  • People who are in excellent spiritual health can do the following:
  • Even when circumstances are challenging, have a positive and optimistic attitude
  • Have compassion and empathy for others around you
  • Have clear values and spend your life in accordance with them
  • Possess a strong feeling of one’s own value
  • Be more easily able to forgive others as well as one’s own shortcomings
  • You should be at peace or in harmony with the natural environment, your life, and the rest of the world. Meditation or religious practices such as worship and prayer might provide you with comfort.

People who are dealing with spiritual wellbeing may experience the following symptoms:

  • Feeling emptiness or as if life has no significance
  • Feeling nervous or uncomfortable on a regular basis
  • They are frequently under the impression that they must better themselves. Feeling careless or uninterested in one’s own life
  • Quick and/or harsh judgments of oneself and others are made
  • Finding it challenging to practice self-compassion and self-forgiveness
  • Lack of inner peace
  • Lack of a sense of belonging
  • Inability to express one’s feelings.

Spirituality vs. Religion

Some individuals believe that spirituality and religion are notions that are similar, if not same, in nature. Despite the fact that they are similar in some aspects, they are not the same. If you want to grasp the distinction between religion and spirituality, it might be helpful to think of religion as something that is practiced and spirituality as something that is just there. Most religious belief systems entail regular actions such as praying and attending church, while precise religious acts vary from religion to religion and may be found in the Bible.

  • Someone who engages in these activities may believe themselves to be quite religious, but persons who do not attend church on a regular basis may have just as strong a belief in a higher power as someone who does.
  • Spirituality may be thought of as the inner energy that exists within each individual.
  • Journaling, yoga, and meditation are examples of activities that might help people clarify their ideas and feelings.
  • They may feel encouraged by individuals who share their religious ideas, and they may gain strength from their own religious beliefs and prayers.
  • You don’t have to follow religious traditions or even believe in a higher power in order to derive meaning from your life and feel connected to the larger universe.
  • A sense of belonging and connection can aid in the promotion of resilience as well as the reduction of risk for certain mental health disorders.

According to research, taking into account a person’s spirituality or religious beliefs can result in better therapeutic outcomes. The spiritual or religious views of a client are now often discussed in counseling sessions by many professionals.

Spirituality and Mental Health

Some individuals believe that spirituality and religion are ideas that are close, if not identical, in their meaning and application. Despite the fact that they are similar in certain aspects, they are not interchangeable. It might be helpful to think of religion as something that is practiced, but spirituality can be thought of as something that simply exists. Regular actions, such as praying and attending church, are part of most religious belief systems, however the precise religious acts performed vary from one religion to the next.

  • Some may consider themselves to be quite religious, but even those who do not attend church on a regular basis may have just as strong a belief in a higher power as those who do go on regular occasions.
  • Individuals’ inner energy might be thought of as a form of spirituality.
  • Journaling, yoga, and meditation are examples of activities that can help people organize their thoughts and feelings.
  • Their religion and prayers may provide them with strength, and they may feel encouraged by people who share their beliefs and practices.
  • You don’t have to follow religious traditions or even believe in a higher power in order to derive meaning from your life and feel connected to the larger community.
  • Some mental health difficulties might be reduced in risk due to a sense of belonging and connection, which can assist foster resilience.
  • The inclusion of a person’s spirituality or religious beliefs may improve the result of their therapy, according to research.
  • Assist people in finding meaning and purpose in their lives by providing social and emotional assistance. Provide consolation to those who are grieving
  • Establish a set of ethical and moral principles by which some people choose to live

It is possible that sensitivity on the part of a therapist will be beneficial to treatment when a person who is religious or spiritual seeks treatment. This will allow the therapist to conduct a more thorough evaluation of the person seeking treatment and to consider a wider range of treatment options. Therapists who are familiar with spiritually oriented therapeutic procedures, such as spiritual journaling or forgiveness protocols, may also be able to assist persons in treatment with resources on these issues, regardless of whether they are able to address them personally.

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There is a greater power in many 12-step programs, albeit this power may not be recognized explicitly.

The spiritual beliefs of persons in treatment, according to a recent study, were found to have an influence on their levels of concern, stress, and tolerability of ambiguity.

Other research has established that spiritual counseling may be beneficial for persons who are struggling with substance misuse.

Spiritual Abuse

It is possible that sensitivity on the part of a therapist will be beneficial to treatment when a person who is religious or spiritual seeks treatment. This will allow the therapist to conduct a broader evaluation of the person seeking treatment and to explore a greater variety of treatment solutions. Therapists who are familiar with spiritually oriented therapeutic procedures, such as spiritual journaling or forgiveness protocols, may also be able to provide persons in treatment with resources on these themes, regardless of whether or not they are able to address them directly themselves.

There is a greater power in many 12-step programs, but this power may not be identified explicitly.

The spiritual beliefs of patients in treatment, according to a recent study, were found to have an influence on their levels of concern, stress, and tolerability to uncertainty.

A number of other studies have found that spiritual counseling may be beneficial for those who are struggling with substance misuse.

  • Extortion of money, commodities, or services via the use of religious or spiritual beliefs
  • Making use of a person’s spirituality in order to humiliate them
  • Insulting a person’s religious beliefs and customs
  • Forcing someone to make a decision that goes against their spiritual or religious convictions
  • It is not acceptable for parents to deny children the right to choose their own religious decisions.

Extortion of money, commodities, or services via the use of religious or spiritual beliefs In order to humiliate someone, one might make use of their spirituality. A person’s spiritual activities are being disparaged. forcing someone to make a decision that goes against their spiritual or religious convictions It is not acceptable for parents to deny children the right to choose their own religious choices.

  1. In Dein et al.
  2. Cook et al.
  3. Powell et al.
  4. Eagger, S. (2010). Religion, spirituality, and mental health are all intertwined. The Psychiatrist is a professional who specializes in mental illness. Retrieved from Heinz, A., Disney, E., Epstein, D., Glezen, L., Clark, P., and Preston, K. Heinz, A., Disney, E., Epstein, D., Glezen, L., Clark, P., and Preston, K. (2010, September 22). A focus-group research on the topic of spirituality and drug misuse therapy was conducted. Maloof, P., ed., retrieved from (n.d.). A biopsychosocial-spiritual paradigm of health is being developed to integrate the body, mind, and spirit. Newman, L. L., ed., retrieved from (n.d.). Faith, spirituality, and religion: A framework for comprehending the contrasts between them The College of Student Affairs Journal is a publication dedicated to student affairs at the college level. It was retrieved from the following sources: Rosmarin, D.
  5. Pirutinsky, S.
  6. Auerbach, R.
  7. Björgvinsson, T.
  8. Bigda-Peyton, J.
  9. Andersson, G.
  10. Pargament, K.
  11. And Krumrei, E.
  12. And Björgvinsson (2011), Including spiritual ideas in a cognitive model of concern is a novel concept. J. Clin. Psychol., vol. 67, no. 6, pp. 691–700. Smith, E., et al., doi: 10.1002/jclp.20798
  13. Smith, E. (2016). What is your life’s meaning and purpose, and how can you achieve it? Spirituality and your health is a resource that was retrieved (n.d.). The University of Northern Iowa is a public research university in Iowa City, Iowa. Retrieved from Weber, S. R., and Pargament, K. I., et al., eds (2014). The importance of religion and spirituality on one’s mental well-being. Current Opinions in Psychiatry (Current Opinions in Psychiatry). What is spiritual abuse, and how does it manifest itself? (12th of November, 2015). The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a free service. This information was obtained from

Religion and spirituality in the treatment room

With a kid suffering from uncontrolled attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Christian psychologist William Hathaway, PhD, of Regent University in Virginia, found himself the latest in a long line of therapists to assist a family in distress over the boy’s uncontrolled ADHD (ADHD). Asked about their religious views, Hathaway discovered that the family members were Jewish and that the boy’s conduct at the temple was keeping them from attending services. She urged them to recommit to their religious practices.

Furthermore, he believes that their religious beliefs may have aided the family in dealing with their son’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

‘Being able to assist a person in establishing a connection with the variable of spirituality in their life may be a helpful and crucial therapeutic accommodation,’ says the author.

This is not uncommon among psychologists.

The use of spirituality as a treatment technique According to Hathaway, “Using religion as a therapeutic technique is a bit contentious and is still in its infancy.” In addition to employing prayer during a session, there are methods for directing clients to pray, spiritual journaling, forgiveness procedures, and using biblical texts to promote positive mental and emotional habits, as well as trying to modify punitive God conceptions.

Using spiritually guided forgiveness procedures, for example, Hathaway can assist clients in coping with emotional difficulties that have arisen as a result of abuse caused by friends or family members.

Carrie Doehring, PhD, a psychologist at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver who studies how people use religion to deal with violent experiences, says that when implementing these techniques, the possibility that religion may have a negative influence on a client’s life-believing in an angry God, for example-should be carefully assessed so that therapy does not make emotional crises worse.

I then inquire as to what they think God wants from them right now, which prompts them to share their personal experiences with God,” Doehring explains.

“It is the total of that discourse that allows me to have a better understanding of the influence religion has on their lives.” Clients who are religious or spiritual benefit from the sensitivity and readiness to communicate with the therapist in a religious manner, according to Doehring, and this may bring a lovely component of the human experience into the therapy session.

  1. It is critical for all psychologists to understand how spirituality and religious beliefs are significant to them individually, both as a tool and as a method to avert psychological barriers, but there are risks to introducing religious practices into treatment, according to Dr.
  2. A significant concern for those advocating for the discipline is ensuring that therapists learning to utilize religious tools or assist clients in dealing with religious difficulties while in postdoctoral training have sufficient supervision.
  3. The personal beliefs that psychologists hold about religion, as well as the risk of countertransference difficulties, should be taken into consideration while working with clients who have religious concerns.
  4. Finally, she believes that the practice as a whole must rely on more than anecdotal therapy tactics and should instead resort to evidence-based practices.
  5. A significant corpus of high-quality work on the relationship between mental health and spirituality has lately emerged, according to Shafranske, indicating that the area has recently reached a tipping point.
  6. According to psychologist Kenneth Pargament, PhD, of Bowling Green State University, research is now being conducted to determine the efficiency of various therapeutic strategies, such as forgiveness treatments, spiritual meditation, rituals, and religious coping tools, among others.
  7. According to Pargament, the research suggests that the sense of hope, meaning, and spiritual support that clients obtain from addressing religious matters and relying on spiritual resources helps them cope better with their condition, which is supported by the facts (seepage 44).
  8. Their findings demonstrate that kidney transplant patients who turn to God or a higher power for transcendent support have greater life satisfaction following their surgery, even after accounting for the general secular coping methods used by the patients.
  9. “At this point, we’re not positive that the majority of doctors are utilizing religion or spirituality at all,” Shafranske explains.

As Shafranske points out, only about 10 percent of new psychology PhDs report moderate to high levels of exposure to religious sensitivity or guided practices during their training, with the majority of that exposure occurring at religiously affiliated training programs at institutions such as Brigham Young University and the Fuller Theological Seminary, where the majority of the training takes place.

Making certain that religious diversity is presented as a fundamental problem in training programs is a crucial first step, according to Shafranske, and this might pave the way for postdoctoral research that focuses on the application of religious practices in practice.

In his opinion, “some of the most fundamental questions and problems that people face in life have a spiritual dimension to them.” Despite the fact that these sorts of concerns may be approached from a simply psychological perspective for many people, they have a profound existential and spiritual significance that should not be overlooked.

Does Spirituality Belong in Therapy?

Some therapists are apprehensive about incorporating spirituality into their work. But, if it has the potential to reduce anxiety and tension, shouldn’t we be putting it into practice as soon as possible? A research team at McLean Hospital, which is connected with Harvard University, was led by psychologist David Rosmarin, PhD, to investigate how spirituality and belief affect stress and uncertainty. You might be interested in two studies that they completed that I think you would find intriguing.

  • They were asked to assess their amount of confidence in a Judeo-Christian God who looks out for them, their level of concern, and their level of tolerance for ambiguity, among other questions.
  • Because it is impossible to assign people to various beliefs at random, we can only draw correlational inferences and, as a result, we are unable to identify causation.
  • Participants were randomly allocated to one of three groups, rather than being compared based on their present views, in this study: a spiritually integrated therapy (SIT) group, a progressive relaxation group, or a wait-list control group.
  • The program included daily lessons and spiritual activities.
  • Prior to the intervention, researchers assessed the groups’ levels of confidence in God, concern, intolerance to ambiguity, and stress before administering the intervention.
  • Participants who mistrusted God, on the other hand, demonstrated higher levels of concern, tension, and intolerance for ambiguity than those who did not.
  • Doctor Rosmarin expressed his thoughts on the findings, stating that the information may be used to encourage practitioners to consider their patients’ spiritual views when treating them.
  • According to the findings, spirituality may play a more important part in healing than was previously considered possible.
  • The potential for this type of study in the future is incredibly interesting.

Have you ever considered incorporating your patient’s spiritual or religious beliefs into their healing or coping strategies while dealing with a challenging situation? Do you believe that spirituality has a role to play in treatment? Please leave a remark in the section below.

Has Your Therapist Asked About Your Religion or Spirituality?

People’s spiritual and religious beliefs and practices (or lack thereof) have an impact on their mental and emotional health, according to a recent study. Should psychotherapists inquire about them and give them special consideration during treatment? In most cases, the answer is yes, unless clients have none or would prefer not to talk about them. When providing mental health services, it should be standard practice to inquire about clients’ spiritual and religious beliefs and practices, if any.

  1. Why?
  2. What do you think?
  3. Shouldn’t psychotherapy be devoid of all superstitions and mysticism, and instead be based on scientific and empirical evidence?
  4. These themes are often avoided by contemporary and sophisticated individuals, don’t you think?
  5. In a nutshell, no.
  6. According to the findings of the research:
  1. Religious and spiritual views and practices are widespread and diverse throughout the United States, as well as among your clientele. 92 percent of Americans believe in God, and 55 to 59 percent of Americans think that religion is “extremely important” in their lives, with another 24 to 29 percent saying that religion is “somewhat significant” in their lives, according to Gallup surveys. Religion and spirituality are examples of cultural variety that are just as significant to individuals as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors such as socioeconomic status and education. The spiritual and religious beliefs and practices of individuals influence their lives, worldviews, ideas, perceptions, and actions in the same way that other types of cultural variation do. Spiritual and religious competence should be necessary in the training of mental health professionals, just as it should be in the teaching of other types of cultural competency. Most people’s emotional lives are influenced by their religious and spiritual beliefs and practices, and polls show that they would prefer to discuss this aspect of their life with their therapists. Despite this, psychologists indicate that they only discuss spirituality and religion with 30 percent of their clients, and that less than half of their customers’ spirituality or religion is taken into consideration during evaluation or treatment planning. Numerous peer-reviewed studies demonstrate that religion and spirituality are relevant to people’s overall well-being, sense of meaning and purpose, and sense of meaning and purpose in their lives. Most psychologists receive little or no training in any form of spirituality or religion as it relates to mental and emotional health
  2. Spirituality and religion can provide clients with inner and outside resources that can aid in their recovery and mental/emotional wellness, and psychologists can assist clients in gaining access to these sources. Spiritual and religious concerns, challenges, or dysfunctional activities and beliefs should be recognized by clinicians as well as patients. Most medical areas currently involve spiritual and religious skills on the part of clinicians, such as taking a spiritual history on a regular basis or taking into consideration people’s spiritual and religious practices (if any) when developing plans for continuous social support for them. Mental health care, on the other hand, and psychology are trailing behind. Even the World Psychiatric Association has stated that it is past time.
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Indeed, William James, known as the “Father of Psychology,” took for granted the critical role that spirituality had in people’s mental health and well-being. Later movements of psychoanalysis and behaviorism, on the other hand, rejected religion and spirituality as “patently infantile” and “foreign to reality” (Freud, 1930), with cognitive-behavioralist Albert Ellis going so far as to call spirituality “childish dependency. spirit and soul is horsesh*t of the worst sort” (Ellis, 1990). Over time, the mainstream discipline of psychology has gained a reputation for pathologizing, or at the very least benignly disregarding, religious and spiritual beliefs as factors influencing people’s psychological well-being and development.

In reality, hundreds of scientific research have found a consistently favorable association between spiritual and religious beliefs and practices, as well as psychological and emotional well-being in people of all religions.

As a result of the first research, we developed a set of attitudes, knowledge, and abilities for which we recommended that mental health practitioners acquire training and demonstrate proficiency.

It was discovered in the second study, released in 2016, that the great majority of psychologists believe that these abilities should be included in training, but that between 50 and 80 percent have had little or no training in them. What are some examples of these abilities?

  • The ability to provide effective and sympathetic psychotherapy to individuals representing a variety of religious and spiritual traditions
  • And As part of the process of obtaining a client’s background and analyzing their resources and strengths, it is customary to inquire about their spiritual and religious beliefs and practices. Knowing the manner in which some religious and spiritual experiences might be confused with mental symptoms and being able to distinguish between the two is essential. Recognizing the distinction between spirituality and religion and being able to handle both in psychotherapy
  • Being conscious of one’s own prejudices, which are influenced by one’s religious and spiritual upbringing and beliefs
  • Religious and spiritual background should be treated as equally relevant as racial, ethnic, and socio-economic background when it comes to recognizing diversity
  • Understanding how to collaborate with spiritual directors or clergy members in the treatment of clients when it is appropriate
  • And

Earlier this year, my colleague Shelley Scammell and I produced a book titled Spiritual and Religious Competencies in Clinical Practice: Requirements for Psychotherapists and Mental Health Practitioners, which outlines these abilities in depth and includes training guidelines for new professionals. My colleagues Ken Pargament and Michelle Pearce have developed an online training program to train mental health professionals on how to address spirituality and religion in mental health care; another colleague, Holly Oxhandler, is conducting a nationwide study to determine how mental health care clients view the relationship between spirituality and mental health, and how they want their psychotherapists to treat them in the future.

  1. Currently, we are examining how their replies compare to the responses of 1200 practicing mental health care experts in the field.
  2. In the millions of people who seek care from mental health professionals each year, assisting them in utilizing their spiritual and religious beliefs and practices as resources for their mental and emotional well-being should minimize suffering and improve well-being.
  3. References Sigmund Freud was a psychoanalyst who lived in the early twentieth century (1930).
  4. W.W.
  5. A.
  6. REBT is discussed by Albert Ellis.
  7. Heery conducted the interview.

Spirituality Therapy

In terms of total mental health and life satisfaction, spiritual wellbeing plays a significant role. Although spirituality is associated with religion for some, spirituality may manifest itself in a variety of ways. In general, spirituality is characterized by a sense of belonging to something bigger than oneself. Moreover, while spirituality and therapy are not commonly associated with one another, the distance between the two has been closing steadily in recent years. This is most likely due to the fact that therapists have begun to recognize the importance of spiritual efforts in improving mental health and in helping individuals to become whole.

Spirituality therapy is still in its early stages and is not recognized in the majority of states.

It simply implies that the state does not control the methods of spirituality therapists or the certification criteria for those who work in this field.

In recent years, it has gained in popularity, and attempts are being made to get it formally recognized by the different professional organizations in the field.

Methods Typically Used in Spiritual Therapy

Psychotherapy, usually known as “talk therapy,” is a broad term that encompasses spiritual treatment as well as other types of counseling. The following are examples of spirituality treatment methods that are often used:

  • People may “open the door” to their subconscious minds through hypnosis, which can help them connect the dots between body, mind, and soul as well as obtain a more in-depth understanding of themselves. Individuals can be brought into a state of concentrated concentration, diminished peripheral awareness, and greater capacity to respond to suggestions through the use of hypnosis. Meditation– Meditation may be performed in a number of ways and with a range of approaches, depending on the individual. Mindfulness (the practice of fostering a heightened awareness of the present moment) is a feature shared by practically all kinds of meditation. A client’s beliefs on the meaning of life, their special purpose in life, death, the afterlife, and other topics are explored through existential questioning.

The fact that it is not a regulated kind of therapy in the majority of states does imply that there may be substantial variation in the procedures utilized, with little data to support the claims made about their effectiveness. Often, the emphasis is on discovering one’s own deepest and most secret aspects of one’s own personality.

Reasons for Hiring a Spiritual Therapist

When individuals have questions or worries about their spirituality, religion, higher power, or anything else, they frequently turn to their religious leaders for guidance. However, some people (for a number of reasons) do not, and as a result, they do not know where to turn for assistance. Unlike many religious leaders, a spirituality therapist places a greater emphasis on getting to know the client and developing a therapeutic connection with him or her rather than on providing services (through trust and empathetic listening).

  • They can aid a client in regaining a sense of equilibrium in their lives and reconnecting with their higher power (whether that be God, the Universe, nature, etc.).
  • This is something that many individuals experience following the death of a loved one and the ensuing sadness.
  • Another group may be seeking to reconcile differences inside their religious system, while another may be seeking to address difficulties that have arisen as a result of their religious upbringing (religious trauma).
  • Spirituality therapy may assist people in re-connecting with their lives, re-establishing (or establishing for the first time) meaning and purpose in their lives, affirming and actualizing their existence, and generally being at peace with themselves and their surroundings.

What to Look for in a Spiritual Therapist

When individuals have questions or worries about their spirituality, religion, higher power, or anything else, they frequently turn to their religious leaders for guidance and assistance. But for a number of reasons, some people do not, and as a result, they are unable to find assistance. A spirituality therapist provides services that are comparable to those provided by many religious leaders, but with a greater emphasis on getting to know the client and establishing a therapeutic connection with them (through trust and empathetic listening).

When a client is looking for balance in their lives, they may also aid them in reconnecting with their higher power (whether that be God, the Universe, nature, etc.).

This is something that many individuals experience following the death of a loved one and the ensuing grieving process.

Another group may be seeking to reconcile differences inside their religious system, while another group may be seeking to address difficulties that have arisen as a result of their religious upbringing (religious trauma).

Spirituality therapy may assist people in re-connecting with their lives, re-establishing (or establishing for the first time) meaning and purpose in their lives, affirming and actualizing their existence, and generally being at peace with themselves and their circumstances.


The authors (Dein, S., Cook, C., Powell, A., and Eagger, S.) (2010). Religion, spirituality, and mental health are all intertwined. The Psychiatrist is a professional who specializes in mental illness. Kersting, K., et al (2003). In the therapy room, there is a place for religion and spirituality. Monitor on Psychology, volume 34, number 11, pages 40-40. A. Savage, ed (2001). An observation in response to Erik Mansager’s paper, Adlerian Psychology and Spirituality in Critical Collaboration: A Critical Collaboration.

The AdlerianSociety of the United Kingdom is based in London.

Spirituality and Religion in Counseling – IResearchNet

Spirituality has traditionally been used to refer to notions and experiences that are either religious in nature or are comparable to religious experiences. More recently, there has been debate over the definition and use of the term spirituality, which is used to distinguish it from religion and religiosity in order to avoid confusion. Because the majority of the research related to difficulties in counseling and religion has focussed on what may be termed as “religion and mental health,” this item begins in that context and then moves on to discuss various conceptions of spirituality that are not commonly associated with religion.

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The Influence of Religion on Mental Health

In the framework of religious thought, some of the most brilliant minds from across the world’s civilizations have pondered what it means to be human for centuries now. In general, these persons accepted religion as a given and assumed that the greatest life was one that was consistent with the demands of the religion with which the individual was affiliated. Religion was widely considered necessary for the well functioning of society, with its primary duty being to encourage virtue and condemn evil, at least among the general populace.

This trend continued into the twentieth century, and a number of the founding fathers of the budding science of psychology (e.g., Sigmund Freud, John B.


As the fields of clinical and counseling psychology grew in importance after World War II, influenced by behavioral and psychoanalytic theories, psychology maintained the presumption that religion was a relic of an earlier, irrational mentality, and that it was detrimental to one’s ability to function optimally.

  • In the past, positive correlations between the Marlowe-Crown Social Desirability scale and measures of religiousness were seen as proof that religious people had a high “approval motivation,” and their responses on other measures were thus questionable.
  • RET was based on the assumption that religion was illogical and, thus, harmful to one’s mental health.
  • In a large-scale factor analysis of the MMPI, it was observed that the items connected to religion were distributed on a factor that was orthogonal to the factors indicating disorders.
  • Other research discovered that religious and nonreligious persons responded differently to some items on the Social Desirability Scale, and that this difference was related to their religious beliefs.
  • Research on religion-related themes continued throughout the 1990s, with some particularly excellent meta-analytic evaluations of the field supporting a more favorable perspective of religion.

They discovered that religiousness was associated with lower rates of risk in the majority of cases across a wide range of disorders, including depression (118 findings surveyed), suicide (114 findings), anxiety disorders (80 findings), schizophrenia and other psychoses (22 findings), alcohol and drug use (99 findings), delinquency (41 findings), and marital instability (42 studies).

Koenig and his colleagues were meticulous in their observation of subtleties:

  • The prevalence of depression is higher among Jews and nonbelievers than it is among Christians and Protestants. In contrast to basic religious belief, depression and anxiety have a stronger negative relationship with participation in a religious group. A further finding is that they have a stronger negative relationship with intrinsic (religion as an aim in itself) rather than extrinsic (religion as a source of social support and networking) approaches toward religion. The relationship between any single denomination and suicide is unclear, while rates are lower among conservative Protestants and Muslims, as well as among those who are religiously dedicated in general. Because there have been no prospective research examining the relationship between religiousness and schizophrenia, causal claims are mostly inappropriate. As an alternative, there is evidence to suggest that early religious participation in childhood may be a protective factor against later criminality. In the negative relationship between religiousness and marital instability, it is possible that religious homogamy (both spouses coming from the same religious background) is a contributing factor.

In other words, rather than confirming the notion that religion is somehow harmful, scientific research suggests that religion may have a beneficial effect on lowering the probability of developing a range of diseases. However, it is neither ethical nor practicable to attempt to instill religious beliefs in all clients in order to improve their quality of life.

Religion in the Counseling Session

As previously stated, Ellis considered religion to be irrational and, as a result, to be fundamentally incompatible with the therapeutic process. While others were working on a body of theory and research that would integrate the involvement of religious principles in the therapeutic process, others were working on something else entirely. Religious aspects (e.g., religious coping, forgiveness) and their roles in the lives of clients are being investigated by an increasing number of researchers.

  1. The American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) currently recognize religion as a form of diversity that requires the same level of attention as other forms of diversity such as gender, racial/ethnic background, and sexual orientation.
  2. A religious/spiritual history of the client is recommended by a number of sources that deal with the integration of religious beliefs and therapy.
  3. “How would you characterize your current self?” However, the answers to these questions may yield valuable insights that are not immediately apparent.
  4. The first of these are the “cultural” aspects of one’s religious commitment.

The intense level of religious involvement in more conservative denominations, or among the more conservative members of some major denominations, may appear abnormal to an uninformed therapist, when in fact it is simply a reflection of the standard level of commitment in that particular context.

  • The second aspect of religion that contributes distinctive characteristics to counseling and therapy is religious coping strategies.
  • It combines the insights of psychology with those of theology and religion to form a cohesive whole.
  • Any of these actions has the potential to have profound and one-of-a-kind consequences in the therapeutic setting.
  • When it comes to negative religious coping, Kenneth Pargament and his colleagues observed that one characteristic that could be demonstrated was a change or “reappraisal” of long-held religious understandings.

Consider the following example: a client’s shift from a traditionally loving God to one who actively punishes wrongdoing, and who specifically punishes the client, is associated with greater depression.


Historically, the term “spirituality” has been used to refer to two distinct concepts. One was to characterize one’s religious orientation, such as Eastern spirituality vs Western spirituality or Franciscan spirituality versus Jesuit spirituality. The second goal was to characterize the apex of human experience in the manner of Abraham Maslow’s “peak experiences,” which were described as “high points.” Spirituality, on the other hand, has been increasingly prominent in psychological literature in recent years.

  • The term was associated with around 2,470 entries between then and the end of 2005, nearly as many as the keyword was connected with Religion over the same time period (2,621).
  • For this reason, much of the contemporary use of the term spirituality has been to draw attention to the distinctive, personal, and experiencing qualities of religiousness.
  • However, despite the fact that spirituality and religion are closely related, there is a continued interest in a spirituality that is essentially divorced from religion in the counseling area.
  • Steen, Dennis W.

Tom Theweatt III, who cite the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASER-VIC), publisher of the journal Counseling and Values, a forum for much of the current discussion on the function of spirituality in counseling: Spirit may be defined as the life-giving power that is symbolized by pictures such as breath, wind, vitality, and courage, among other things.

guides the individual in the direction of knowledge, love, purpose, peace, hope, transcendence, connectivity, compassion, wellness, and completeness Spirituality encompasses one’s ability to be creative, to evolve, and to form a value system, as well as one’s experiences, beliefs, and practices, among other things.

While it is typically articulated through culture, it is both before to and beyond culture in its expression.

A similar line of thinking may be found in the writings of Daniel Helminiak, who argues that spirituality is inherent in the human situation and does not require any connection to conceptions of God or the supernatural, and that such links are nearly always prescriptive (linked to religious doctrine and privileging certain perspectives).

The ubiquitous concatenation of the terms religion and spirituality, on the other hand, has the potential to exacerbate confusion, as spirituality comes to be linked with both conventional religious activities and measurements and less traditional “scientific” (to use Helminiak’s phrase) understanding.

When such spiritual concerns are raised by clients, ethical standards for counselors increasingly require that counselors be open to them, be aware of them as diversity issues, and be willing to refer their clients if they are not prepared to deal with the type of spirituality that the clients brings to counseling.

conversion to a new faith, or questioning of spiritual values that may or may not be related to an organized church or religious institution,” according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), are classified as V-code 62.89.

(p. 741). Accepting such concerns as part of the therapy process can only lead to a more complete understanding of what it means to be healthy and whole in the long run.

Current Literature

Current research suggests that (a) there is strong evidence that incorporating both the cultural and spiritual aspects of traditional religious frameworks can improve a psychotherapist’s understanding and effectiveness with his or her clients; (b) knowledge of the client’s religious background, as well as knowledge of religious coping styles, can inform the therapist both of possible additional coping mechanisms available to the client as well as of potentially maladaptive uses of religious coping styles.

Although religious believers assert that their beliefs provide psychological benefits and religious critics assert that some aspects of religious doctrine are psychologically harmful, there is little convincing evidence to support either of these claims when religion, as opposed to behaviors justified on the basis of religious beliefs, is considered.


  1. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2000. (4th ed., Text rev.). Author
  2. A. Ellis
  3. Washington, DC: Author (2000). People who have strong religious and spiritual convictions may wonder if rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) can be utilized effectively with them. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31, 29-33
  4. Helminiak, D. A. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31, 29-33
  5. Helminiak, D. A. (1996). Psychological and theological approaches to spirituality are brought together in a scientific spirituality. Hill, P. C., and Hood, R. W., Jr., The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-19
  6. Hill, P. C., and Hood, R. W., Jr. (1999). Measures of religious commitment. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press
  7. Koenig, H. G. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press
  8. Koenig, H. G. (Ed.). (1998). Religion and mental health: a handbook of resources Academic Press, San Diego, California
  9. Koenig, H. G., McCullough, M. E., and Larson, D. B. (2001). Religion and health: A handbook of resources Oxford University Press
  10. Paloutzian, R. F., and Park, C. L. New York: Oxford University Press
  11. Paloutzian, R. F., and Park, C. L. (Eds.). (2006). The psychology of religion and spirituality: a handbook for students and professionals The Guilford Press, New York
  12. Pargament, K. I. New York: The Guilford Press
  13. (1997). Religion and coping: a psychological perspective P. S. Richards and A. Bergin (editors) published a book in New York called The Guilford Press (2000). Psychotherapy and religious diversity: a handbook for practitioners American Psychological Association
  14. Richards, P. S., and Bergin, A. (Eds.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association (2004). In this casebook, you will learn how to use a spiritual technique in counseling and psychotherapy. APA (American Psychological Association)
  15. Shafranske, E. P. (ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association (1996). The relationship between religion and clinical psychology practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
  16. Steen, R. L., Engels, D., and Thweatt, W. T., III
  17. Steen, R. L., Engels, D., and Thweatt, W. T. (2006). Ethical considerations in relation to spirituality in counseling Affective Counseling and Values (50:108-118)

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