Most people who truly begin to trust the process of therapy eventually want to talk about spiritual matters
, deeply personal concerns that may never have been addressed by their spiritual leaders. I want to create room for this dialog because I am convinced it is an integral part of working with the whole person, and that it is almost always related to the matters of concern that are initially presented.
What are such matters and how are they explored in a therapeutic context?
- Where was/is God when I needed/need Him the most?
- How could my spiritual leaders do that?
- I want to follow God but how do I make sense out of some of the rigid perspectives I sense in my community of faith and in the Scriptures?
- Why am I consumed with guilt and shame?
- Why can't I experience God as loving and accepting of me? Why do I almost always feel like He's judging me, condemning me, disappointed in me? Why all the fear?
- How can I be in therapy and also hold on to my spiritual values?
- Do my issues distort my understanding of Scripture and the teaching of my community of faith?
- Why do I feel like my experience of God is "flat" instead of meaningful?
To be able to address such fundamental questions is essential, in my opinion, for the wellbeing of one's total self. Often times people with faith may feel discouraged from pursuing such questions or find themselves criticized for having such questions. However, such doubts and struggles have been part and parcel of the spiritual journeys of men and women of faith throughout the ages. I invite such an exploration if and when you may want to do so.