The fusion of depth psychotherapy with a spiritual understanding of your life experience is a potent combination.
Spiritually oriented psychotherapy is a place to address your concerns, both big and little, from a spacious, expanded perspective. This approach to psychotherapy is built on the recognition that there are certain qualities in human nature that are fundamental and timeless, such as:
- Love, and loving-kindness
- The ability to be present, especially in relationship
- Acceptance and patience
- Peacefulness and equanimity
- Joy and inspiration, excitement or a sense of adventure
- Enjoying a sense of creative flow or purpose, even if not specific
- Feeling empowered to make free choices
When these qualities are present, life goes well. When your therapist recognises these qualities as being already present within you, or that you have a great capacity to realise them more fully, this recognition can feel like coming home. It is uplifting and empowering to be seen as you really are.
What happens in spiritually oriented psychotherapy?
Of course this is different with everyone, but the primary form of this relationship is enquiry (inquiry). This is a reflective exploration into your experience. It is held in an affirming and accepting therapeutic relationship that allows both breadth and depth. No subject is too trivial or too big, and everything is welcome. There is a gentle acceptance that there is a learning opportunity in whatever arises, when you become aware of it.
From this perspective, everything that happens in your life is an opportunity for deeper self awareness and for becoming more loving towards yourself. Family relationships – the ones we cannot escape from – often provide a wealth of painfully intense experience, and only later in life is it possible to understand the special abilities you gained from being part of this family. This learning often comes about through contrast. For example, you understand the true value of patience by growing up with an impatient parent who was always in a hurry, or you realise the importance of empathy by growing up with a narcissistic parent who was never interested in your feelings.
Rather than blaming your family for creating such a difficult environment, you can begin to extract what you have learned from this experience, and put it to good use. Spiritual maturity develops when we can, eventually, cease blaming our parents for who we have become! Forgiveness in this context means being reflective about how we act and feel, rather than blaming others or projecting bad feelings onto them. It means taking ownership of difficult feelings such as fears, anxieties and anger, lack of self love and poor self worth. You don’t have to do this alone, but within a supportive relationship.
A timeless enquiry of the heart
You may yearn for peace of mind and to lay down a burden of stress, or perhaps you have reached a time in your life when you are interested in exploring old difficulties in new ways. You may want to make decisions or choices where you feel confident you are doing the right thing. Maybe you feel a longing to realise more of your potential, or you know that it’s time to face the grief, or the aftermath of the trauma from a long time ago. All of us do better when we feel recognised, valued and appreciated for who we are. Psychotherapy with a spiritual perspective is a place where, as far as humanly possible, judgement and self criticism are absent, and we co-create the conditions that help you find a stable, positive base, such as:
- Kindness towards yourself
- Acceptance and tolerance of others
- Good humour
- Recognition of the multifaceted complexity of your life
- Spaciousness, so you are not too closely identified with problems
- Clarity, insight and understanding.