Spiritual Issues Therapy in Wichita, KS
Spirituality is not the special property of any group or religion. It exists in the hearts of men and women of all races, creeds and cultures, both within and outside of religious institutions. Spirituality presupposes certain qualities of mind, including compassion, gratitude, awareness of a transcendent dimension, and an appreciation for life which brings meaning and purpose to existence. Whereas spirituality is essentially a subjective experience of the sacred, religion involves subscribing to a set of beliefs or doctrines that are institutionalized.
The shadow side of this fundamentally healthy search for wholeness can be called addiction to spirituality. Whenever spirituality is based on wishful thinking and the abdication of personal responsibility, it is potentially addictive. For example, addiction to spirituality can be found among those members of spiritual communities who would have difficulty coping with the world on their own. Addiction to spirituality can also be found among people who use spirituality as a magical solution to problems they are unwilling to face.
Spirituality can become addictive whenever it is used as an escape from reality or an avoidance of life. When it is used to compensate for lack of satisfaction in work or love relationships, it tends to breed dependency rather than promoting liberation. As a way of avoiding intimacy or autonomy it can be as detrimental to psychological health as any other dysfunctional pattern.
Spirituality is closely associated with the experience of universal love, which can be a powerful healing force as well. In a world that has devalued the sacred quest, many people who long for unconditional love are eager to submit to someone who seems to offer it and who takes on the role and authority of a parent. Such surrender can easily become an avoidance of self-responsibility. The desire to be as a child, free from the anxiety of not having answers to existential questions, and trusting in a powerful, wise parent who offers guidance and protection, can be very compelling.
Psychologically healthy integration of the spiritual seems to require a foundation of personal integrity based on self-knowledge and a willingness to see things as they are. It implies a compassionate response to suffering and a commitment to telling the truth to oneself as well as to others. Healthy integration of the spiritual is the result of an authentic response to ultimate questions such as the meaning and purpose of birth, life and death, and the universal human confrontation with aloneness and with existential freedom. The transcendence of egocentric concerns does not imply that interpersonal relationships must suffer as a result. Attention to all aspects of life with love, compassion and open-mindedness is a more natural result of a psychologically mature spirituality.
Therapists sometimes encounter clients who have used spirituality as a means of repressing, denying and avoiding psychological problems. For example, a dysfunctional family may be very religious and attend church regularly, yet refuse to acknowledge the psychological pain of its members because of an unspoken rule that feelings are not to be discussed.
Others may think that as long as they perform some formal ritual of worship they are entitled to indulge egocentric ambitions or exploit others with impunity. On the other hand, spirituality that eschews traditional forms of worship may run the risk of deteriorating into magical thinking and superstition.
Other issues surrounding spirituality may include:
- Spiritual Ambition
- Spiritual Experiences
- Ego Inflation
- Denial of Outsiders
- Desire for Spiritual Specialness
- Guilt and Purification
- Facing Fears
- Insight and Forgiveness
- Love and Compassion
Here at ACFC we have a team of experienced therapists who are committed to their patients every step of the way. We will help match you to the therapist on our staff best suited to meet your needs. We accept most major insurance providers. Check our Insurance page to see if your provider is accepted.
If you would like to seek therapy for spiritual issues with an ACFC counselor – simply fill out our contact form below, chat with us during business hours or call us at 316-945-5200 to get the process started. We look forward to meeting with you.