HuffPost is part of Verizon Media. Meditation was first recognized in the Western world as an Eastern religious practice. Perhaps, it is time we stopped being afraid to talk about spirituality—the understanding of the human spirit—when we talk about psychology. Science wants to be pure science and spirituality wants to be pure spirituality. Behind the quest for spirituality lies a growing need for passion and depth in our lives. Interestingly, there are signs that attitudes are changing. Doing the work of therapy, doing the work of psychology has the potential of putting us deeply, keenly in touch with that essential nature. Spirituality means different things to different people. We and our partners will store and/or access information on your device through the use of cookies and similar technologies, to display personalised ads and content, for ad and content measurement, audience insights and product development. et al., n.d.). But now we have an addendum to that known as Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). That's why, David Elkins argues, psychotherapy still has a thing or two to learn from religion. On one end of the spectrum, most of mainstream psychology does not concern itself with issues of consciousness and spirit and rejects what is not scientifically quantifiable. It allows these clients to be present in the moment without judging themselves for what they are feeling or thinking and to work toward acceptance of what is. To enable Verizon Media and our partners to process your personal data select 'I agree', or select 'Manage settings' for more information and to manage your choices. We call it soul, or spirit. Spirituality | Psychology Today. Perhaps, it is even true that having to non-judgmentally accept our client’s beliefs—even if they differ from ours—forces us to have to get in touch with deeper aspects of ourselves—so that we begin to think more original thoughts rather than just regurgitating what we’ve been taught about religion, spirituality, or science. This likely due, in part, to the success of spiritually-based practices such as meditation. But is it possible that a discipline that is a science can also be very spiritual? Well, we have given a name to that very deep and profound resonance within us that speaks to us of our deepest, truest, and most essential nature. Many positive psychology interventions are grounded in ancient religious and spiritual teachings, which are not typically included in treatment for psychopathology. Now it is often recommended by the therapist as a practice that can be utilized by clients to deal with depression and anxiety and even dissociative disorders. The Neuroscience of Feeling Surprised by Unpredictability, Therapy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Persons. Now, there are many approaches that own the spirituality of psychology. But when mindfulness first became known to the Western world, it was seen primarily as a spiritual practice of Hindu, Buddhist, and other Eastern religions. There are empirically validated interventions for the following four virtues: hope, gratitude, forgiveness, and self-compassion (Rye, M.S. Perhaps, we should be willing to provide full assessments that offer a pathway to treat the whole person when we invite a client into therapy. But even that can be a stepping-stone to further growth, in which the person begins to think more original thoughts and, thereby, get in touch with deeper aspects of her being. Andrea Mathews, LPC, NCC, is a cognitive and transpersonal therapist, internet radio show host, and the author of Letting Go of Good:  Dispel the Myth of Goodness to Find Your Genuine Self. But it has been found to be very therapeutic in its capacity to put one in touch with the more peaceful aspects of the deeper self, or soul. Perhaps that would free up our clients to talk to us freely without worry that we will judge them for their beliefs. Cognitive therapy has always facilitated the questioning of one’s own beliefs. And if spirituality is really all about the spirit of life, all of life, then it’s going to have to include science. For example, we used to just have Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Find out more about how we use your information in our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. This is just evidence of how the world of science has begun to understand the world of the human spirit.


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