Therapy for spiritual practitioners

Spiritual paths and lineages usually have their own language and ways of understanding consciousness, the psyche and the human experience. They also have teachings, practices and methods that are designed to help with difficulties along the way. It can happen, however, that a practitioner will hit upon an aspect of self that will need more of a psychological or therapeutic approach. This might be an old trauma, a pattern they continue to repeat or a new piece of information about themselves in their cognitive, emotional or sensory body.  

At these tender and sometimes frightening moments, it can be very important to seek out psychological help.  

Therapy can help a practitioner learn how to regulate body, mind and emotions.   It can also help you to become conscious of and process deeper layers of psychological material that might be revealed through your spiritual practice. Doing the needed psychological work can help you to go deeper into your spiritual practice. 

There is also a rule in the relative world, that the brighter the light the darker the shadow.  In Power in the Helping Professions, written by Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig he discusses psychotherapists, but I think that spiritual practitioners and teachers also fit here. "...as a psychotherapist {or spiritual practitioner or teacher} tries to become more conscious and to help his patients do the same, his unconscious side is constellated more powerfully than that of the average person's." (p. 103) The more conscious we become of parts of ourselves, the more we may cast other aspects ourselves into the shadow.  Depth psychotherapy can help a person to become more conscious of these shadowy aspects so that they do not live them out in destructive and hurtful ways. 

As a therapist, I help my clients with these processes, from helping them learn to regulate their nervous systems, to processing old wounds to discovering and working with the shadow. I also believe it is important to respect and work alongside the tradition that my clients are dedicated to. Through helping my clients connect to their bodies and together exploring what is happening "under the surface" (dreams, metaphor, feelings and images), we can better understand and unlock certain blocks, integrate split off parts or begin to process old traumas. This is so my clients can continue on their spiritual path and not further embed into habituated patterns that might keep them stuck. I particularly enjoy working with women spiritual practitioners and the unique experiences they find on the spiritual path.