What is Spirituality Therapy?
In general, most people regard spirituality and therapy as being two distinctly separate arenas. However, in recent years, the trend has started to reverse as therapists have realized the value of spiritual endeavors and pursuits in making an individual whole. As such spirituality therapy has developed.
Spirituality therapy is quite new, and it is not recognized in most states. This does not mean that it is not valid or useful. It simply means that the state does not regulate the practices or certification requirements of spirituality therapists. Spirituality therapy focuses on all matters relating to spirituality and the individual and the application of spirituality into the day to day life. It is growing in popularity, and efforts are being made to get it formally recognized by the various professional organizations.
Methods Typically Used in Spiritual Therapy
Spiritual therapy is almost exclusively psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. In some cases, it may include activities such as hypnosis or guided meditations with the purpose being to introduce new techniques. However, the primary focus is on discussing and understanding the spiritual beliefs, meaning and purpose of life, and development of an ethical code.
The fact that it is not a regulated form of therapy in most states does mean though that there can be considerable variance in the methods used with little data documenting the effects. Often times, the focus is on exploring the deepest and most hidden part of oneself.
Reasons for Hiring a Spiritual Therapist
Most of the time, people seek out the counsel of their religious leaders. A spirituality therapist provides similar services but with a greater focus on listening and helping to bring everything into balance and focus. Often times, they assist in bringing balance and cultivation to the holistic situation rather than just the individual issue brought. Another common reason for hiring a spirituality therapist comes when the individual struggles with some aspect of doubt and needs to discuss it. This occurs most often with grieving. The individual does not want to lose her faith but does not feel that she can discuss it with a religious leader for fear of being considered inadequate as a believer.
Some people also hire spirituality therapists to better develop their ethical code. Others want to resolve disagreements within their belief system, and others simply need to deal with issues that have developed form the spirituality within their lives.
What to Look for in a Spiritual Therapist
When looking for a spirituality therapist, it’s best to give preference to one who has been certified if you are in a state that recognizes spiritual therapy. If you are not, then it is just as important to look to the credentials. In many states, spirituality therapists are regarded as being similar to life coaches, meaning that anyone can set themselves up as one. If you are unable to find a therapist who specializes in spirituality, you may need to seek counsel and therapy from a religious professional in your particular religious. This is because while there are many other therapists, they are often overbooked and are not likely to give priority to individuals who are just seeking to understand their spirituality. One exception to this is grief counseling. In situations where you are looking for a spiritual therapist who will assist you in the grieving process, another alternative is a certified grief counselor from a religious organization.
Bear in mind that there is still strong disagreement over whether spirituality therapists are legitimate. While those who do practice spirituality therapy provide evidence of the benefits they offer, this does mean that your insurance provider may not cover sessions.