banner image

Spiritually-Oriented Therapy

Spiritually-oriented therapy is therapy with an appreciation of a sense of the sacred, and of mystery. An appreciation of the sacred is conspicuously missing in most modern Western healing traditions. I went to get a massage at a local massage school once and thought that I could feel more of a sense of the sacred there than I can feel at most modern medical facilities. For more on the meanings of the words spiritual and sacred in this context, please check out my blog post on this topic.

Spiritually-oriented therapy does not push any particular set of spiritual ideas or beliefs on the participant. Rather, it considers the spiritual life of the participant to be every bit as important as every other major life pillar playing into the overall picture of the suffering that brought them to therapy. Many clinical issues have a deeply spiritual or philosophical dilemma at their core, and often, suffering pushes us to define our personal spirituality in new ways. Regardless of what you believe, life forces each of us to eventually confront, in our own way, some of the deepest philosophical problems that our species has grappled with throughout our history, to come face to face with suffering, and to cultivate our own way of being in constant relationship to these mysteries.

Spiritually-oriented therapy allows for an element of the transpersonal in the therapy relationship. In other words, it does not balk at the possibility of synchronistic or acausal connections leading to this particular therapist working with this particular person on this particular issue. Many therapists will confess they tend to attract a certain kind of life issue over and over again, and it often has something to do with their own major life themes. Additionally, spiritually-oriented therapy does not turn its nose up at moments of “shared thoughts” or other transpersonal phenomena that seem to arise from the non-dual space between the therapist and participant in therapy.

Often, a spiritually-oriented therapist will be versed enough in the work of Carl Jung that they appreciate Jung’s idea that each mental health “complex” has a transpersonal core. Again, read my blog on this topic for more on this subject, but essentially, this means that your spiritually-oriented therapist should be able to help you appreciate the mythic dimensions of your current struggle, and they should always appreciate that an issue with your dad can be as fierce as a battle with the gods. This is because there is a transpersonal (or a “spiritual”) dimension to each of our presenting issues in therapy.

Additionally, the current Western psychological literature considers numinous and mystical experiences to be “anomalous,” and too often views them through a heavily clinical lens. A spiritually-oriented therapist views numinous and mystical experiences as actually quite normal, and removes the clinical lens while bearing witness to them, in humble appreciation of the deep mysteries to which they seem to point.

If you would like to:

  • Discover how your upbringing may have actually been weirdly perfect for your ongoing spiritual development and growth
  • Understand the spiritual dimension of your current reason for seeking therapy
  • Deepen a current spiritual practice or passion for spiritual seeking
  • Make personal, sacred meaning of the mysteries of life, love, suffering and death
  • Understand more about an “anomalous,” numinous, or mystical experience you’ve had
  • Include a sense of the sacred throughout your healing journey in therapy

Then spiritually-oriented therapy might be for you! Drop me a line if you’re interested to learn more.