Integrating Spirituality in Psychotherapy

Over recent years, a number of calls have been made for therapeutic approaches that are encompassing mind, body and spirit. Clients are more often making choices for holistic therapy and wanting more than what is offered by traditional models of psychotherapy. Hence, as therapists we need to become open and incorporate techniques and worldviews that can enhance therapeutic encounter and invite transformation and new solutions for change to emerge.

This training is designed for therapists who would like to integrate spiritual perspectives along with meditation, breathing practices, creative imagery, rituals, and other techniques to enhance clients’ healing process and increase range of techniques they use in their practice.

The workshop usually runs over a weekend. It starts with discussion on why it is useful to incorporate spirituality in our work, than move to definitions of spirituality, issues around religion and spirituality and review of western, eastern and new age spirituality. Than we focus on spiritual practices and exercises, that will both help your individual renewal and increase your effectiveness in helping your clients. Finally, we will highlight some of the ethical principles and issues to consider in integration of spirituality in psychotherapy.

Incorporating Spirituality in Psychotherapy

(two-day weekend training)

1. Welcome & Introduction

1.1 Why is it important to incorporate spirituality in psychotherapy
1.2 Working definition of spirituality
1.3 Spirituality and religion

2. Spirituality, Psychotherapy & Wellness

2.1 Barriers between spirituality and psychotherapy
2.2 Connections between spirituality and psychotherapy
2.3 Spirituality, self-care and health

3. Religion & Spirituality

3.1 Historical figures and links between spirituality, religion and psychology
3.2 Western religions
3.3 Eastern religions
3.4 New age spirituality

4. Development of Spiritual Identity

4.1 Developmental model of faith
4.2 Assessment of spirituality & faith
4.3 Working with spiritual awareness

5. Spiritual Awareness Exercises

5.1 Identifying life meaning, purpose & values
5.2 Creating sacred space
5.3 Journal writing
5.4 Life review
5.5 Senses, creativity and wonder
5.6 Wisdom
5.7 Rituals
5.8 Prayers
5.9 Meditation/imagery

6. Ethical Dilemmas in Spirituality

6.1 Assessment of clients’ spiritual needs and consent form
6.2 Necessary information about spiritual perspectives
6.3 Competence issues around spirituality
6.4 Respect of clients’ spiritual values
6.5 Therapists’ spiritual perspective and biases
6.6 Therapists’ disclosure of spiritual/religious orientation.

7. Discussion
8. Closure.