Spiritual Psychology Basic Skills

Core to our work and healing are methods and techniques called Basic Skills. Basic Skills are specific methods a counselor uses to create a safe, intimate and healing environment in which Participants work through issues and problems.

“The issue isn’t the issue. The issue is how you are with yourself as you go through the issue.”

- Dr. Mary Hulnick
University of Santa Monica


These skills include:

  • Seeing the Loving Essence
  • Heart Center Listening
  • Asking Open-Ended Questions
  • Conscious Sharing
  • Perception Checking
  • Expressing Feelings
  • Three Steps to Issue Resolution
  • Prizing
  • Accepting Personal Responsibility
  • Reframing Issues as Blessings
  • Silence
  • Identifying, Owning and Accepting Projections
  • Positive Self Talk

Seeing the Loving Essence

Seeing the ‘loving heart’ or ‘soul’ in another person.

Heart Center Listening

Listening to another person without judgment, opinion or the desire to view them as ‘flawed’ or ‘needing to be fixed.’

Asking Open-Ended Questions

This is a method of asking questions in a manner which does not result in a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. This technique encourages an unlimited deepening of communication as issues are fully and thoughtfully explored.

Conscious Sharing

Conscious sharing is the willingness to speak in complete honesty and authenticity without holding back.

Perception Checking

Checking perceptions regularly as a conversation progresses eliminates assumptions and misinterpretations. This ensures the conversation is understood with accuracy before moving forward.

Expressing Feelings

Gently encouraging another to experience and express their feelings is an opportunity for deep emotions to be shared and emotional healing to begin.

Three Steps to Issue Resolution

  1. Set a clear, positive intention to heal
  2. Identify and Process the Issue
  3. Experience Self Forgiveness


Prizing is the technique of genuinely praising, affirming, and appreciating each other.

Accepting Personal Responsibility

The cornerstone of Spiritual Psychology, this Principle requires that we accept full responsibility for our experience. This allows movement away from ‘victim’ language and thinking and into authentic power.

Reframing Issues as Blessings

This enables the awareness that challenges we face in life have a higher and underlying positive purpose. We learn to appreciate situations that we once viewed as ‘bad’ are in fact opportunities for learning, and come to view these events as gifts which can offer great benefit to our lives and advancement of the soul.


Silence allows us the opportunity to access deeper levels within ourselves. We are able reflect on what we just said without interruption, allowing the opportunity to experience a deeper level of communication with ourselves.

Identifying, Owning and Accepting Projections

This is an effective reminder that we may have a similar issue requiring more attention within ourselves when the actions of another person are upsetting.

Positive Self Talk

This is the rewiring of our automatic negative thought patterns. Unaddressed, the average human will experience thousands of negative thoughts each day.


List adapted from the work of Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick, the founding faculty and co-directors of the University of Santa Monica and their book, Loyalty to Your Soul, and taught at the University of Santa Monica.