Integrating Spirituality into Counselling

Therapist’s Views and Experiences

  • Thomas Parayil Institute of Spirituality and Counselling, DVK, Bangalore, India
Keywords: spirituality in psychotherapy, therapists, spiritual ingredients, therapeutic healing

Abstract

The role of spirituality in psychotherapy has received growing attention in the last two decades. The focus is on understanding the ways that spirituality relates to therapists, clients, and treatment methods. This paper explores the therapist’s views and experience on spiritual ingredients in counselling, keeping in mind the Indian context and experience. The participants were mental health professionals from different backgrounds with 15 to 30 years of experience. It was a qualitative study and a semi structured interview schedule was used. In this study, thematic analysis was used for analysing the data. Themes and concepts were formulated for each interview transcribed and an analysis undertaken. The main themes that emerged were: the views and experiences of mental health professionals about the use of spiritual ingredients in counselling, role of spirituality in counselling, healing process and well-being. Therapists consider the
approach of spirituality as a key ingredient in the whole phenomenon of therapeutic healing.

References

Carroll, P. (1997). Spiritual life maps: a client-centered pictorial instrument for spiritual assessment, planning, and intervention. Canada: Reference Publications

Gartner, J. (1996). Religious commitment, mental health and prosocial behaviour: a review of the empirical literature. In E.P. Shafranske (ed.), Religion and the clinical practice of psychology 43-48. Washington DC: American Psychiatry Association.

John, R. (2005). The Transpersonal: Spirituality in Psychotherapy and Counselling. U. K.: Routledge

Mohandas, E. (2008). Neurobiology of spirituality. Mens Sana Monographs, 6 (1): 63-80.

Patterson, C. H.(1964). Modern approaches to counselling diagnosis. Journal of Counselling Psychology, 11(3), 297- 298.

Shafranske, E. & Malony, H. M. (1990). Clinical psychologists’ religious and spiritual orientations and their practice of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 27: 72–78

Swinton, J. (2001). Spirituality and Mental Health Care: Rediscovering a forgotten dimension. London: Jessica Kinglsey Publishers

Swinton, J., & Pattison, S. (2001). Spirituality: Come all you faithful. Health Services Journal, 111: 5786, 24-25.

Tyler, D . E. (1969). The work of the counsellor. New York, N. Y.: Appleton- Century- Crofts

Tyler, P. (2010). Healing the butterfly: Reflections on the relationship between psychotherapy/counselling and christian spiritual direction. Vinayasadhana: Journal of Psycho-Spiritual Formation,1, 39-42

West, W. (2000). Psychotherapy & Spirituality: Crossing the line between Therapy and Religion, New Delhi: SAGE Publications Ltd.

West, W., & Moodley, R. (2005). Integrating Traditional Healing Practices into Counselling and Psychotherapy. New Delhi: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Wig, N. N. (2009). Mental health and spiritual values: A view from the east. In A. Sharma (Ed.), A book on spirituality and mental health (pp. 3-21). Delhi: Indian Psychiarty Society, Medical wing, RERF.

Published
2010-06-30