Here at the Center for Soulful Relationships we have a very unique way of working with our clients. We believe in the power of including a client’s spiritual beliefs and using them as a strength to help people with their healing.
Most of the time, therapists are too scared to address spirituality or spiritual healing tools into their work with their clients due to their own discomfort. Sometimes that discomfort comes in the form of fear around crossing any potential ethical boundaries. And sometimes that fear comes from their own discomfort with spirituality in general. Most of the time it’s because they don’t have the experience or know how in doing so.
I’ve always had spiritual beliefs. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where both religion, and spirituality were honored. I was always taught there was one God known by many different names, in many different languages. No matter what you call it, or what book you learn about it from, it was always the same something bigger and greater than all of us, which all of us could look to for support.
In looking back on that, I am truly grateful that is the way my parents raised me.
It allowed me to be open to something bigger and greater than me that I could rely on as a source of hope, strength, and guidance.
When I began working in the non-profit sector, much of my work was with the Spanish-speaking community. If there is one thing I learned about the Spanish-speaking community, it is that they have a strong faith in their religious beliefs. During my decade in the non-profit industry, I was blessed to watch the incredible healing that took place in the lives of my clients, simply because they believed.
Women who experienced depression received great hope when using God as strength to lean into in the therapy room. Through this hope, their symptoms of hopelessness lifted, as did their low motivation, social and emotional withdrawal, and sleepless nights. I watched the light return back to my client’s faces and lives. And it wasn’t just short-term either. By reconnecting and cultivating a relationship with the God of their understanding, these women were able to actually heal from their depressive episodes.
Women who experienced anxiety and constant worry also found relief when being reminded to connect with the God who they believed knew the Divine plan for them and their loved ones. These women prayed for their relatives and made prayer requests as well. These women were reminded of the power of prayer and Divine connection. And I watched the miracle of their light brightening inside of them as well.
When I began working with primarily English-speaking clients, I had already been very well versed in the ethical integration, the gentle invitation, of spirituality into the psychotherapy space. So, why not use the same tools with English speakers?
So, apply the same tools I did.
And guess what?
It worked just as well for native English speakers as it had for native Spanish speakers.
One woman who had been in and out of treatment shared with me during one of our last sessions that she really enjoyed our work together because I wasn’t afraid to talk about God during our sessions. She shared, “No other therapist I’ve ever worked with ever brought up God. It’s like they were too scared.” Well guess what? It was a relationship with this God of her understanding that helped her on her healing path.
Little did I know at the time that my skills of ethically integrating spirituality into the psychotherapy space would be one of the talents that sets me apart from my peers. I had even less knowledge regarding the fact that I would actually be teaching this to my colleagues one day.
As I transitioned into my own private practice, I found my private clients were also open to the idea that something bigger and greater than them, could be a source of power, strength, and hope.
Some of my clients call it God. Others refer to it as the Universe. Some even call it a Higher Power.
Either way, they all have found great relief in the fact that they are not alone, and that there is a loving entity that cares for them at all times, all they need to do is remember and connect.
Just like the air we breathe, the belief in a God, the Divine, Spirit, Source, the Universe, a Higher Power comes at no cost to us. It is a resource that is always free and available to us. So why not lean into that something bigger and greater than you and why not use it as a tool in the therapeutic relationship?
Back to the question: Why spirituality in psychotherapy?
Because it works.
I feel truly blessed and fortunate that my practice has grown to invite another healer into the space with me. Christopher Alvarado is another licensed therapist whose work is completely in alignment with mine. He and I both have personal spiritual practices, have both worked in the Spanish-speaking community, and are both very well trained in the proper use of spirituality and spiritual healing tools in the psychotherapy space.
If you or someone you know is ready to work with skilled and experienced therapists to help you heal, please schedule your Get Acquainted Call and take action towards your healing. Christopher and I both have space in our schedules to support you right now.