When confronting addiction, depression or other psychological concerns, a variety of treatments can be beneficial. For many years, therapists have treated the body and the mind, but the spirit has been left wanting. In recent years, therapists have started experimenting with spiritual counseling as part of psychological treatment. Can the pursuit of spirituality and religion benefit you?
What Is Spiritual Counseling?
Spiritual counseling is the concept that engaging with a religion or spiritual practice can help you cope with and overcome the struggles you face. This doesn’t necessarily have to manifest in the form of an organized religion, but can be a general sense of spirituality. Pursuing and possessing a sense of meaning in your life can help you live a healthier life.
If you subscribe to a specific religion, you may be encouraged by your therapist to delve into your belief for support in the face of difficult situations. Confronted with addiction, anxiety, depression or other mental disorders, you might have retreated from your religious experience, whether out of guilt, fear or shame, but participation in religious activities and communities can provide a much-needed support structure.
If you don’t hold to an organized religion, general spirituality may still be beneficial. A therapist may encourage you to practice meditation, mindfulness or other spiritual activities. Participation in these activities may prove to be soothing and aid in recovery by helping you to become more settled in who you are and able to engage the world around you differently.
How Does Spiritual Counseling Work?
As with many forms of therapy, spiritual counseling involves conversation and action. An important place to begin is having an honest conversation about your religious beliefs, whatever they may be.
Depending on this conversation, your therapist may encourage you to pray or read religious texts. Writing a journal about your spirituality and engaging methods of forgiveness may also be important steps in spiritual counseling. Learning to forgive is an important part of the healing process when faced with difficult emotional trauma. Holding onto anger and frustration can lead to further stress and anxiety, while releasing that can result in an increase in hope.
Embracing spirituality may lead to an increase in faith, love and support. These qualities can help bolster your body and mind when reacting to stress and trauma, and belief in a higher power or universal essence may reduce anxiety and create feelings of peace.
Spirituality has also been linked to fortifying the brain cortex against depression. The personal importance of spirituality and the practice of meditation or attendance of religious services can help your body and mind defend against the negative emotions that lead to depression.
How Can You Approach Spiritual Counseling?
While religion and spirituality in counseling are growing more popular, it is still not as widely utilized as it could be. Spiritual counseling in therapy can have beneficial results when approached honestly and carefully. Religion is a sensitive topic for many people, but with patience and understanding, you can engage your spirituality through therapy.
Pursuing spirituality during your therapy may help you discover new facets to your life. It may give you hope for the future or help you forgive others. Spiritual counseling can help you find peace within yourself. If you’d like to learn more, contact a professional treatment center and see if this counseling practice is for you.
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