Seek Up

The Importance Of Spirituality In Psychotherapy

Dr. Hayley Bauman

People often ask me what I mean when I say I’m a “Psychospiritual Therapist,” and I can’t blame them. Besides being a mouthful, the term psychospiritual tends to bring up all manner of metaphors, from fire and brimstone to new-age charlatans. So, I figured I would dedicate a post to describing what psychospiritual therapy really is, and why I believe it works.

First, let’s talk therapeutic frameworks, in general. I remember being in graduate school, learning about all of the different styles of therapy, and having a professor that incessantly repeated the phrase, “You have to have a framework.” For him, it didn’t matter which one you chose, as long as you chose one to work from. Interestingly, psychospiritual therapy, was not one of the choices.

As it turn out, when it comes to your traditional modes of therapy, it really doesn’t matter which one you use. Numerous studies have shown that the Number One factor that predicts success in therapy is the therapeutic alliance between the therapist and the client, regardless of which techniques are used. Now, this doesn’t negate the impact of cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety, or family systems therapy for a struggling teen, but it does show that the relationship between therapist and client is of utmost importance.

Psychospiritual therapy takes this idea of a relationship between healer and seeker one step further, in that we also include your relationship between yourself and something greater. What that something greater is, is up to you. For some, it is God, Allah, Budda, Jesus, Yawheh, etc. For others, it is a higher power, your intuition, or your Highest Self. For some it is Mother Earth, Father Sky, The Universe, or The Great One. And yes, for some of you, it’s your cat.

It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is that you connect with something greater than yourself that gives you hope when you feel low, and that grounds you when you feel out of control. It’s about recognizing the Greatness that is inside of you, and Remembering Who You Are.

So, no, it’s not religious. Although, if that is your bag, then that is the framework from which we will work, because to me, it’s all the same.

Either way, this method works because:

  • It gives you a solid sense of self
  • It provides security during dark times
  • It adds a level of accountability, knowing that you are part of something greater
  • It connects you, unconsciously, with other seekers around the globe
  • It teaches you about flow and contentment
  • It provides meaning in an ever-changing world.

As I said, I didn’t learn this approach in school. I actually picked a lot of it up from one of my past therapists, who turned me onto the idea. Then, through writing my first book, “Serendipity And The Search For True Self,” I weaved my way through some of the tools (Dreams, Totems, Tarot), through which Spirit made herself known to me.

Now, several years later, my notion of spirituality has grown, and I understand that regardless of what we believe, there will always be some entity looking out for us. The beauty, is that we don’t even have to believe it to see it.

If you would like to find out if psychospiritual therapy is right for you, contact me. I’m here to help!