I have an interest in working with people who are drawn to deepen their engagement with their spiritual life through psychotherapy. I don’t have a particular spiritual agenda in my therapeutic work beyond supporting you towards greater integration in your life whatever your spiritual beliefs or practices.
What I provide is not spiritual guidance but a broad and spacious psychotherapy that is open to and inclusive of your spiritual concerns.
I believe psychotherapy can be engaged in a way that provides a vital space of inquiry leading to a process of spiritual deepening, of integrating and embodying one’s spiritual life within the ‘everyday’.
Several interrelated questions about one’s spiritual life psychotherapy can inquire into are:
- What sort of growth does your spiritual practice support and what sort of growth does it hinder? What sorts of practices are suited to your current situation and what aren’t?
- What areas of your life are touched, and what areas are left untouched, by your spiritual practices? What still needs to open, heal and dissolve despite your spiritual practice?
- How can psychotherapy deepen the wisdom gained through spiritual practice and support its embodiment, especially in one’s relationships?
- In what way can psychotherapy support your spiritual orientation to be more integrative, holistic and embodied?
Psychotherapy can usefully work with two importance notions: spiritual bypassing and dis-integrated spirituality. In doing so psychotherapy can support a process of spiritual deepening.
Spiritual bypassing involves using spiritual practice to bypass or avoid dealing with personal or emotional ‘unfinished business’. It can involve attempts to flee challenging areas of our lives such as our circumstances, relationships, our character structures. In doing this spirituality can sometimes be used to try to rise above our emotional and personal issues and avoid or prematurely transcend basic human needs, feelings and developmental tasks. (John Welwood 2000).
Dis-integrated spirituality is where the various domains of a person’s lives are out of balance, in conflict and working against each other” (Pargament 2007) .
I do not bring any form of spiritual authority to this work. I bring a curious and interested mind that is shaped by a 25 year personal spiritual inquiry involving forays into many different spiritual traditions. I have a BA in Religious studies (USyd), 8 years of counselling/psychotherapy training in various modalities and 15 yrs experience as a therapist. I believe I have some skill at understanding the language of spirituality that many client’s bring to therapy, and to create useful and transformational dialogues between spirituality and psychotherapy.