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How Spiritual Psychology Aids Substance Abuse Treatment

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Woman Embracing Spiritual Psychology

You have heard of the 12 Steps. However, do you know about the substance abuse treatment that uses 21 principles instead of 12 steps? Many people struggling with deep-rooted addiction issues swear by this method. How does it work?

Behind the Proven Treatment Option

Known as Spiritual Psychology, this approach is a non-denominational counseling method. Because recovery must appeal to the body, mind, emotions, and spirit, it makes sense to approach healing in this manner. The 12 Steps emphasize shame and guilt as motivating factors for change. In contrast, the 21 Principles focus on personal responsibility as means for empowerment.

The first five principles affirm and validate the participant’s experiences and desire for change. They offer perspective and underscore the opportunity for transformation at any point in time. Concurrently, they combine with evidence-based substance abuse treatment modalities to form the basis for getting and staying off drugs. The next couple of principles highlight that unresolved issues must experience resolution for effective healing.

Personal Responsibility Empowers Individuals Battling Addiction

The next sections of principles explain that healing is not something someone else does for you. Instead, it comes from inside you. While you do the work and actively pursue recovery, you have every right to claim your victories and take credit. At the heart of this empowerment is the importance of self-forgiveness and the marked absence of self-condemnation.

21 Principles

Here are all 21 Principles of Spiritual Psychology:

  1. We are all Spiritual Beings having a Human Experience.
  2. The nature of the Universe is Love.
  3. Our natural human state is Love.
  4. All of life is for Learning.
  5. An ‘unresolved issue’ is anything that disturbs your peace.
  6. All ‘upset’ points to unresolved issues.
  7. Unresolved issues are not bad, rather opportunities for spiritual growth.
  8. Nothing outside of you causes your disturbances.
  9. You are completely responsible for your experiences in Life.
  10. Physical world reality exists for Spiritual growth.
  11. Spirit meets you at your point of action.
  12. What you believe determines your experience.
  13. Your future is created based on how you respond to current experiences.
  14. The issue isn’t the issue. The real issue is how you are with yourself as you go through the issue.
  15. Healing is the application of Loving to the places inside that hurt.
  16. Every time an individual resolves a single issue, all of humanity moves forward in its evolution.
  17. Spiritual growth is a process, not an event.
  18. Direct Experience is how belief is turned into Knowing.
  19. Judgment is self-condemnation. Self-forgiveness is freedom.
  20. Your human experience on earth is your school. Your primary goal is to accept and master the lessons from this school.
  21. A life filled with Acceptance is a life free of unnecessary emotional suffering.

Successful Substance Abuse Treatment Modalities

Of course, it takes more than principles to affect healing. Therapists must rely on Spiritual Psychology counseling strategies that they apply during daily sessions. The emphasis here is on the frequent repetition of the principles and their practical workings. Examples include:


  • Developmental psychology approaches that explain human development and seek out times of traumatic experiences
  • Gestalt therapy picks up on those findings and helps program participants to work through past experiences that need resolution
  • Psychosynthesis emphasizes the importance of living in the now as opposed to the past and its problems
  • Family systems processes explore patterns that exist within in the generations of a family unit and help participants to overcome them
  • Forming core transformation helps the individual to attain an emotional state that functions without the need for self-medication

Because therapists work with clients to develop self-counseling abilities and strategies, relapse prevention is possible. In fact, it becomes somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy because it encourages participants to seek out a natural state of being. Add to this the desire for self-improvement and the urge to overcome past hurts, and recovery gains momentum.

How to Get Help for an Addiction Problem Today

Whether you're seeking out recovery assistance for yourself or a loved one, therapists at The Clearing can help. Even if you’ve been through rehab at other facilities and suffered relapses along the way, there’s real help for you. Call The Clearing today at 425-275-8600.

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Clearing Staff

This post was written by Clearing Staff

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