Where Can One Access Spiritual Psychologists
Spiritual psychologists are commonly employed in mental health facilities, rehabilitation clinics, and religious places like temples, churches, etc. Many of them also open their own independent practices as well. Furthermore, some spiritual psychologists may go by other labels, such as personal growth counselor or life coach.
What Is Spiritual Psychology
Spiritual Psychology is a blend science & spirituality that expands on Conventional Psychology by recognizing that a person has four levels requiring therapeutic attention.
- Physical– what you do
- Emotional – what you feel
- Authentic Self– ability for joy, acceptance, and self-compassion
Conventional Psychology addresses a person at three levels physical, mental and emotional. These three levels, the bedrock of conventional therapy, are all based on impermanence. What you do in your life , what you think and believe and what you feel . All three levels will constantly change throughout life as you grow, mature, learn and evolve.
The Fourth Level is who you are at your core. At this level you are able to experience unconditional love, harmony, peace, joy and oneness with our universe, acceptance of others, and compassion for yourself. Not coincidentally, with a weakened connection to this level, life can feel empty, pointless, unsatisfying, and hopeless. Issues such as depression, discontent, anxiety, despair, self loathing and a host of other unsettling experiences, including our very will to live, arise. Often we find substances or addictive/destructive behaviors as temporary relief, others just live with the ever present feeling of “there must be more”. A successful course of treatment must incorporate all four levels, to resolve underlying core issues for the last time and let you have your life back.
Science Vs Spirituality: Skeptical Take
It can be challenging to weave science and spirituality together.
Spirituality is universally connective in the realization that suffering is a part of human existence. Science and tough-minded folks often try to downplay the role that innate spiritual practice has on wellbeing.
Even well-meaning psychologists may have a negativity bias toward interventions offered in positive psychology . With a traditional focus on diagnosis and pathology treatment, less attention is spent on psychological health. Opening minds to interventions that encompass spirituality might help aid the individual in treatment.
There have been over 300 studies seeking to understand the relationship between spirituality and health . Yet, there remain many who question the validity of the impact spirituality can have on wellbeing. Many practitioners in the hard sciences have a healthy skepticism toward data and hypotheses that are correlational rather than causal .
One might say to the skeptics, though, âwhat will it hurt?â Discussing an individualâs spirituality in treatment could be a spark that they need to ignite their hope and motivation toward personal goals. A descriptive, rather than prescriptive, understanding of spirituality may do more good than harm, especially when action is later self-motivated.
Spirituality Versus Emotional Health
You will notice as you read on that many practices recommended for cultivating spirituality are similar to those recommended for improving emotional wellbeing. This is because there is a connection between the twoemotional and spiritual wellbeing influence one another and overlap, as do all aspects of wellbeing.
Thus, emotions and spirituality are distinct but linked, deeply integrated with one another.
Ways For A Spiritual Psychologist To Increase His Or Her Salary
The most important way a spiritual psychologist can increase his or her salary is to obtain additional training or schooling. The position they are most hoping for should guide their educational choices. For instance, those who would like to obtain positions in places of worship may study religion or philosophy in addition to psychology. Spiritual psychologists who desire to become consultants for corporations may want to take a business course. By obtaining specialized education, these professionals can increase their worth and therefore, their potential for higher salaries.
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Hameed Ali’s Diamond Approach
Almaas integrated insights from object relations, body sensing, and spiritual perspective of Sufism to constitute the diamond approach. According to this approach, each individual has an essence within which is the spiritual self. The ego is a defense against and a denial of essence. A child is born in touch with essence but because his parents are not in touch with the same there is a lack of reflection due to which the child is split off from his essence. To compensate for this loss of essence, a self and object relations matrix is created. This split has to be worked through for the individual to reconnect with his essence and transform.
Conventional Psychology Vs Spiritual Psychology
Using the skills taught at The Clearing, you will learn how to bring all levels of your life into balance. When balance is achieved, life becomes peaceful, joyful and harmonious. Fundamental healing takes place, and individuals can achieve peace and live their lives to their fullest potential.
Will your life ever become out of balance again? Yes, it will. However, because you have learned to apply these profound skills and strategies, you are now uniquely prepared and empowered to address and resolve each new issue that may arise in your life with grace and ease.
“The Clearing’s program was, for me, completely transformative. As this program is not a 12 Step program but, rather, one that utilizes the tools and principles of Spiritual Psychology, I was able to learn how to accept and heal the underlying issues of the depression and anxiety that led me to drink as a way of numbing my pain. The Clearing’s program is certainly an intensive one but I found myself completely supported and unconditionally loved by the entire staff … and all of the wonderful farm animals.
I whole-heartedly recommend the program at The Clearing to anyone who struggles with depression, substance abuse, compulsive disorders, any kind of mental or emotional disturbance, and/or anyone simply looking to learn how to truly live their life to the fullest.”
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How To Bring Spiritual Psychology In Your Life
The good news about spiritual psychology is, everyone can bring it in their lives with little effort. Now there is so much material available on spiritual psychology you can get help from them. If you are a beginner, you can read the beginners guide to spirituality to learn more about it.
However, in this part of the article, we will explain four excellent ways you can use to bring spirituality in your lives. These includes:
Opening To Psychic Realms
As a part of spiritual journey, the person may travel into the inner underworld where he experiences intense suffering, pain, and torture often leading to psychic death followed by rebirth and ascent to higher region. At times, the individual may experience possession states where he feels controlled by an evil entity and reports being traumatized.
If given a proper framework and support to comprehend these states, the individual can make the leap from psychotic-like states into higher consciousness.
The Evolution Of Psychology Dysfunction Behavior Well
Psychology in the first half of the last century was mostly about psycho-sexual/dynamic drives and dysfunction and predicting behavior often referred to as the First and SecondForces of psychology respectively. Around the middle of the last century and partly in response to the limitations of either the dysfunction-based or behavior-prediction based approaches to human psychology, the humanistic psychology movement took hold considered the ThirdForce of psychology. Humanistic psychology is about personal growth, reaching our highest potential and self-actualizing. What makes us happy, what are the conditions which lead to or detract from flourishing in our emotional, psychological, professional lives, relationships and overall well-being.
Humanistic and later positive psychology expanded our perspective on what it means to be a fully realized human being, offering a more holistic view beyond merely dysfunction or predicting behavior. By recognizing and embracing these more positive aspects of the human mind and behavior, as well as our drive towards reaching our highest potential of self-actualization, humanistic psychology ultimately paved the way for the study of the elevated and non-ordinary states of consciousness associated with religious/spiritual states, psychedelics and self-transcendence.
Spiritual Emergencies: Disorders Of The Spirit
Spirituality as a path is not sans dangers. Spiritual emergency refers to the condition in which self becomes disorganized and overwhelmed by an infusion of new realms of consciousness, which it is not yet capable of integrating. Many a times people who are on a spiritual journey explicitly or implicitly experience nonordinary states of consciousness that are viewed and treated as psychosis, neurological disorders, or dissociative states through suppressive medication and therapies, as the western enterprise of psychiatry and psychology lacks a framework and expertise to comprehend these states. This is a fatal error as many patients if properly understood and treated would experience transformation and spiritual realization but given the present state of affairs they end up spending their lives in inpatient wards and rehabilitation homes trying to ground themselves in the very ignorance that they wished to emancipate from. At the same time, transpersonal psychology stresses that not all psychotic states are spiritual emergencies, but some surely are and acumen must be developed to differentiate between the two. There are two broad types of spiritual emergencies.
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The Search For Meaning
An instinct toward spirituality appears to be deeply ingrained in humans. We can’t help but ask big questions: Research finds that even declared religious skeptics can’t stifle a sense that there is something greater than the physical world they see.
As the brain processes sensory experiences, it naturally looks for patternsand our conscious selves often seek meaning in those patterns. This can lead to the phenomenon known as “cognitive dissonance,” which describes how, once one believes in something, one is strongly inclined to try to explain away anything that conflicts with it. Cognitive dissonance is not unique to religion or spirituality, but often occurs in the context of such beliefs.
The Need For A Spiritual Framework
In recent times, it is evident that although science has amassed great knowledge, traversed and revealed the mysteries of universe, discovered and devised magnificent objects and technology, found cures for various life-threatening diseases, yet man is continuously battling against a hostile world. Though we have solutions for economic, technological, and political problems emotional breakdowns, inner voids, and ethical and moral transgressions are challenging humanity. Amidst this, one of the hopeful developments in the world is a revival of interest in spirituality and mystical quest. People who have had spiritual experiences show distinct changes in their psyche, their approach toward fellow beings and life, representing a movement away from destructive personality characteristics and emergence of values fostering individual and collective survival. This holds potential for a major transformation of the hostile world that one is increasingly confronting.
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Why Spiritual Psychology And Why Now
Change is taking place at an unprecedented pace on our planet. The nature of this change is historically different from anything we have previously experienced. Because of the enormous destructive power now available, the world is being challenged to learn how to get along or pay the consequences, which could be extremely high. Further, since the pace of change is clearly accelerating, we do not appear to have the luxury of time to waste.
And, by the way, as we move forward, these very same skills will be exactly the same ones that will be highly valued as we transform into a more peaceful, highly globalized world.
The Importance Of Spirituality
Spirituality goes beyond the search for psychological well-being. It is not a method. Nor is it a way to overcome depression, anxiety and mental issues. However, one of the results of spirituality is indeed psychological balance.
Spirituality plays an important role in the rehabilitation of people with substance abuse problems, for example. Addicts values tend to have been worn down. They may get to a point where theyll do anything in order to obtain the drugs.
For that reason, a good part of their rehabilitation process consists of bringing value back to great human virtues.
Spirituality has enormous power: it gives us the strength we need to meet our goals. It is much more than just willpower. It is based on conviction and the desire to transcend.
Many great men and women in history have found in spirituality the strength they needed to do great things. Their adherence to certain principles was so strong they were capable of overcoming huge obstacles. All to achieve the objectives they considered transcendent.
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Spiritual Psychology: The Marriage Of East And West
So what is the cure to the limitations and toxicities inherent on a purely psychological or spiritual path?
Answer: the marriage of the east and west. The union of spirituality and psychology.
Spiritual psychology honors both the relative and absolute, the subjective and objective, the mind and the heart, the body and the soul, and the East and West approaches to transformation.
Spiritual psychology is a holistic practice that takes into account all aspects of a persons being all the way from earthly issues to metaphysical problems.
As Sufi mystic, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee writes,
The processes of inner transformation are both spiritual and psychological. The spiritual work is the awakening of a higher state of consciousness: the consciousness of the heart. The psychological work involves cleaning the psyche of all the conditioning, psychological blocks, and complexes that could inhibit our spiritual awareness. Withdrawing psychological projections and integrating the conflicting aspects of ourselves, we create a foundation for spiritual life, without which any higher awareness would be distorted and could create a dangerous imbalance. Psychological work prepares the psyche for the intensity of inner experiences it creates an empty, uncontaminated inner space for the awakening of our own divine nature.
Both go hand in hand.
As philosopher and yogi, Sri Aurobindo writes,
Difference Between Psychology And Spirituality
Psychology is treatment, spirituality is experience
The difference between psychology and spirituality can be at first sight difficult to detect, since both are involved in human interiority, its contents and its dynamics, or they even are human interiority. One may wonder, for example: is feeling uncomfortable, because we cannot find a meaning to our lives, a mostly psychological matter or an essentially spiritual one? This question can guide us to distinguish psychology from spirituality. It contains two main references: meaning of life and discomfort. In front of it, psychology will address how to resolve the state of discomfort, while spirituality will address the inner experience created by relating ourselves with the sense of our lives. I point out that I did not say that spirituality tries to understand the meaning of life: spirituality is not so much reflection, but experience above all it does not deal so much to understand what the meaning of life is, but rather to live the inner experience that the meaning of life arouses within us.
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Incorporate Shadow Work Into All Of Your Spiritual Practices
I cant emphasize this enough: exploring your shadow self is crucial. When we use spirituality to avoid facing our pain and darkness it results in issues such as blind faith, loss of discernment, groupthink, spiritual narcissism, us vs. them mentality, grandiosity, you name it. See our shadow work article for more guidance. Start by asking yourself, In what ways might I be using this practice to avoid or numb something within me? Explore your hidden motives. You can also ask a trusted friend, loved one, or spiritual advisor for honest input.
Spiritual Psychology Vs Conventional Psychology
SUMMARYConventional psychology focuses on three areas of a human being. The physical, mental and emotional. Whereas spiritual psychology also looks into a fourth area. That is the core being or inner self.
Conventional psychology can help you at three levels. The physical, mental and emotional. It addresses your need for therapy based on the concept of impermanence. The method depends on what you do, what you think and what you feel. All these aspects are variables and change as you evolve. Conventional therapy helps you cope with these constant changes.
Now spiritual psychology addresses you at not three, but four levels. The fourth being your inner self or your core. Your core is not subjected to any change. The external situations dont affect your core. Accessing this level can help you experience peace, joy and unconditional love. It allows you to live your life in harmony both inside and out.
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Benefits Of Spiritual Psychology
There are numerous benefits that you can enjoy by practicing spiritual psychology in your life. Some of the surprising yet essential benefits include:
Ancient Indian Psychology And Recent Revival By Sri Aurobindo
Ancient Indian thought is a storehouse of rich psychological insights elucidating explicit and subtle nuances of processes and constructs such as mental health and illness, cognition, emotion, attention, motivation, perception, self and personality, psychopathology and its treatment. Ancient Indian physician and scholar Charaka seems to have emphasized positive mental health when he articulated that the task of medicine is not simply to strive for absence of disease but to enable an individual to learn about and lead ideal life. Upanishads distinguished between the self as an ultimate entity and self as empirical ego. Whereas the ego engages itself in worldly affairs and experiences pleasure as well as pain, the atman or ultimate entity is devoid of pain or pleasure, it is an onlooker devoid of senses, surpassing time, space, and causality and it is the true self and ultimate reality. This reality cannot be perceived or known by our mind as it is different from phenomenal reality and it can only be realized through meditation. In order to terminate suffering, one must awaken the higher self and let it conquer the lower one.
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