The Link Between Psychotherapy and Spiritual Psychology

Psychotherapy can be extremely useful during addiction treatment. In fact, many treatment facilities consider it to be the bedrock of recovery. Although important, traditional psychotherapy might miss out on a critical element: spirituality. Find out how Spiritual Psychology at The Clearing takes a more holistic approach to healing.

What is Psychotherapy?

Man Undergoing PsychotherapyPsychotherapy refers to treating a mental disorder through psychology rather than medicine. For example, a person struggling with a mental illness might opt for counseling rather than for prescription medication. Ultimately, this means they’re choosing psychotherapy over pharmacology.

Sometimes referred to as talk therapy, there are many different ways for patients to embrace psychotherapy. Group therapy is an option that can be helpful for those seeking recovery drug or alcohol addiction recovery. Family therapy is another common form of talk therapy that bridges the gap between addicted individuals and loved ones.

Individual counseling, however, is the most popular form of talk therapy. In a one-on-one environment, patients can speak directly to a trained counselor or therapist in order to find the root causes behind their addiction.

In any form, talk therapy aims to address and clearly define key life problems. Then, it works to resolve those problems and improve the overall quality of life for patients.

What is Spiritual Psychology?

True to its name, Spiritual Psychology is a more spiritual version of psychology that has similarities to talk therapy. Both build on the principles of psychology, and both aim to treat patients without the use of prescription medications. However, Spiritual Psychology takes it one step further.

Spiritual Psychology’s primary aim is to address any underlying issues causing patients problems. For those in need of addiction treatment, they’ve ignored those issues in the past. In reality, some patients may have a history of trauma or an undiagnosed mental illness.

Using this spiritual approach promotes the idea that spiritual growth is an ongoing process. It teaches patients that forgiveness is vital—not just forgiveness of others, but also forgiveness of self. Since so many individuals struggle with guilt, shame or embarrassment about addiction, this can be a vital and incredibly helpful issue.

The Three-Legged Chair

There are four key elements to health. Traditional psychology tends to focus on just three. Without that key missing element, however, maintaining health and wellness can be a balancing act.

Think of it as a chair with three legs. Although it might balance temporarily, but it's not a long-term solution. You'll never be able to completely relax or feel comfortable when sitting on a chair with one missing leg.

Traditional psychology focuses on three main elements: physical, mental and emotional health. While there’s no doubting that each of those elements is vital, treatment that ignores spiritual health generally won’t work. Spirituality doesn't necessarily mean religion, and it doesn't have to correspond to any one specific doctrine. It’s about who you are inside and what determines your life experience.

Some of the basic skills achieved through spiritual therapy may include all of the following:

  • Listening to others without judgment
  • Communicating with open-ended questions
  • Sharing honestly with others
  • Resolving issues in a healthy way
  • Checking and addressing emotions
  • Accepting personal responsibility
  • Positive self-talk and self-confidence

Similar Counseling Strategies

Patients in residential rehab for addiction may find many similarities between spiritual and traditional psychotherapy. In particular, many of the therapy and counseling strategies are similar.

Behavioral therapy, for example, is a key tenet of both approaches. It aims to adjust addictive behaviors to include healthier choices for life.

Object relations therapy is another popular spiritually-oriented treatment method. It aims to address childhood wounds. Similarly, gestalt therapy resolves any traumatic events in a patient's history. Both of these approaches are very close to the idea of the more traditional trauma therapy.

Combining psychotherapy and Spiritual Psychology can be a fantastic way to overcome addiction in a healthy, sustainable way. If long-term health and sobriety is your goal, then The Clearing in San Juan Island, Washington, can help. Call 425-275-8600 to find your path to recovery.

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