There is now widespread interest in the role of spirituality in both assessment and treatment. Spirituality and religion are critical sources of strength for many clients, are the bedrock for finding meaning in life, and can be instrumental in promoting healing and well-being. There is growing empirical evidence that our spiritual values and behaviors can promote physical and psychological well-being. Exploring these values with clients can be integrated with other therapeutic tools to enhance the therapy process.
Counseling can help clients gain insight into the ways their core beliefs and values are reflected in their behavior. Clients may sometimes discover that they need to reexamine these values. Therapists must remain open and nonjudgmental, recognizing that there are multiple paths toward fulfilling spiritual needs. Counselors can make use of the spiritual and religious beliefs of their clients to help them explore and resolve their issues. To effectively be able to address spiritual concerns in assessment and treatment, counselors need to have competencies in working with values.
We personally follow a Spiritual Strategy for Counseling and Psychotherapy. Our approach is holistic, which helps clients to heal by taking the entire human being and their life experiences into consideration for assessment and treatment purposes. In other words, where traditional counseling methods consider the psychological ramifications of issues and behaviors; holistic counseling assesses and treats from physical and spiritual contexts -- as well as a psychological or mental ones.
A holistic counselor is conscious of clients in their totality; they take an integrative approach to healing the mind. Their work takes them into the multiple dimensions of human experience; the physical, the spiritual and the psychological. Ultimately, they seek to heal by helping their clients to break free from destructive behaviors and enjoy a new and improved state of mental, spiritual and physical health. These counselors do not consider the client as damaged and in need of repair; they instead focus on helping the client release the spiritual perfection which lies within.
The most important thing we tell clients as soon as they come to us is that, “There is nothing wrong with you. You are already whole, perfect and complete. There are just some little pebbles stopping the flow in your life. Those pebbles (Ok…some are boulders) are beliefs and behaviors that might have been true at some time in your life, but are no longer true and are not working for you. It’s our job to figure out what they are, change them and get you unstuck.”