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A Spiritual Connection: Psychotherapy, Spirituality and Mental Health

By HERWriter
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“Exploring someone’s spiritual beliefs and practices can therefore be an important part of the mental health assessment and healing process. A mental health therapist can be extremely effective in helping the person explore the struggle and arrive at a place of feeling empowered in having gained a deeper inner personal knowing.”

She said therapists need to differentiate between religion and spirituality, and recognize differences in beliefs.

“Exploring spirituality with a client can help them feel more grounded and connected, can give them a greater sense of love, trust, hope and belonging,” Simington said.

Tina Tessina, a licensed psychotherapist and author of the new book “LoveStyles: How to Celebrate Your Differences,” suggests in an email that spirituality is a common part of therapy.

“People who come for therapy are often in crisis, and crisis is when we
turn to spiritual focus,” Tessina said. “Therapists should be comfortable with
spirituality, and be able to speak in the terms of whatever spiritual
practice their clients use.”

She said therapists need to be open to all beliefs, but also know how to address harmful beliefs of the client. Also, spirituality shouldn’t be brought up unless the patient talks about it or the conversation heads in that direction.

“It's very negative when a therapist has a rigid spiritual point of view and
tries to impose that on clients,” Tessina said. “It's positive when a therapist is
accepting of many points of view and can support the client in his or her
spiritual focus.”

Have you noticed that spirituality affects your mental health, and if you’ve gone to therapy has spirituality been an important part of that experience?


Ohio State University Student Wellness Center. Spirituality. Web. Feb. 6, 2012. http://swc.osu.edu/about-us/spirituality

University of Maryland Medical Center. Spirituality. Web. Feb. 6, 2012. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/spirituality-000360.htm

Rosenquist, Sara. Email interview. Feb. 6, 2012.
Taking Flight International Corporation. Web. Feb. 7, 2012. http://takingflightinternational.com
Simington, Jane. Email interview. Feb. 6, 2012.

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Dear Rheyanne,

Just wanted to tell you that you are doing an amazing-job. Thank you so much for everthing. Pleaese keep up doing what you are doing because it clearly is working :)


October 22, 2013 - 5:00am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I couldn't agree more Rheyanne is doing a phenomenal job. I wish there were more people out there like her :)

October 27, 2013 - 5:18am

I totally agree with Jane Simington, the therapist and the owner of Taking Flight International Corporation and Taking Flight Books, when she says that therapists should address emotional, physical, mental and spiritual aspects in therapy. I feel like my soul is in such pain. Yet I have not found a counselor who can help me with this problem. This article is very informative on the outlook of what mental health counselors should be doing the help those of us in need.

February 9, 2012 - 12:05am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Tammyb58)

A most beautiful spiritual understanding being used in counseling is the simplicity of the works of Sydney Banks which is non- denominational... It is universal . His books and DVD's are such a gift. The therapists are called 3P's counsellors after The Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness andThought. I particularly like "The
Enlightened Gardener" and give this book to my clients at intake to read. Check out www.threeprinciplesmovies.com for more information. There are 3P's therapists all over the world.

June 5, 2012 - 6:59pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Thank you very much for your response. I am researching to find a 3P's counsellors in my area. I just ordered "The
Enlightened Gardener" from Amazon, to check out.

June 19, 2012 - 3:09am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.