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What is Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy?
Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy is the culmination of Pastoral (Spiritual) Care and Psychotherapy. It is most often experienced in the care of Chaplains, Ministers, Priests, Rabbi's, or other spiritual teachers. Psychotherapists who offer (or specialize) in this type of care are specially trained, educated, or otherwise competent in this type of care. Unlike religious leaders or teachers, Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapists provide mental health care with the ability to engage in spiritual or religious conversations - if appropriate or applicable. Although not everyone is comfortable with these conversations, others are. Spiritually competent Psychotherapists do not initiate these conversations. They are merely able to have these conversations (if and when a need arises).
Research studies have shown that:
These are just a few of the reasons why mental health professionals and spiritual care providers are coming together to cultivate a new method and approach for individual healing.
- a high percentage of the population in the United States has some degree of spiritual or religious faith
- previous mental health policies and religious privacy have contributed greatly to the stress or abandonment of these (possibly) relevant conversations
- when asked, a great majority of individuals receiving mental health care would liked to have spoken about their religious or spiritual life and the impact it has had on their well-being
- a great majority of individuals receiving mental health care feared they would be judged or misunderstood if they had talked about their religiosity or spirituality
- Mental health profesionals are not comfortable having these conversations out of fear that their own worldviews and perspectives would be challenged or threatened to some degree
- The religiosity or spirituality of an individual may or may not contribute to their over all well-being
- Previous mental health practices have discouraged religious or spiritual conversations
- A high majority of mental health professionals are not comfortable with these types of conversations
Through religion and spirituality, some have been healed and nurtured while others have been harmed or abused. Openly engaging these conversations (in a safe and nurturing environment) encourages massive opportunities toward overall healing.