When belief in God is essential to one’s identity and experience of the world, it helps to include that faith in the therapeutic work.
Integrating Psychological and Spiritual Health
Psychotherapy helps people who are struggling with their emotions, thoughts, behaviors, situations and/or relationships. Some people prefer to work on these problems with a therapist who can also appreciate and understand their faith in God. Although they may not want to address their faith in therapy, it helps them to know that their therapist respects and understands the importance of their faith. The therapist’s ability to appreciate the client’s faith in God can deepen the client’s experience of being accepted and understood in therapy
Other clients want to explore more directly the nature and patterns of their faith in God because they believe they may be part of their present problems. When belief in God is essential to one’s identity and experience of the world, it helps to include that faith in the therapeutic work.The nature and dynamics of a relationship with God are in some ways essentially different from those we have with people and ourselves. It is important for a therapist to understand God’s unique and distinctive presence when addressing a client’s relation to Him
It is also important to appreciate the distinctiveness of each faith. Conversations about faith often emphasize the commonalities among them, such as the general belief in something greater than oneself or the importance of love and of helping and caring for one another’s good. The common values and beliefs shared by people of different faiths can be a good place to foster mutual respect and understanding, but they can only address relationships among people. These common elements cannot help explore matters of the heart with one’s particular focus of faith. It is in the distinctive details of our chosen faith that the value of our faith is fully revealed and draw us in
My graduate clinical psychology training at BIOLA's Rosemead School of Psychology in California includes integrating psychological and Christian spiritual health. Both my Christian faith and training enable me to include spiritual work with my clients who are Christian and want to address their relationship with God in therapy