What Is The Difference Between Spiritual Direction And Psychotherapy?
Spiritual direction and psychotherapy are similar in many ways. In both, the issues dealt with spring from the individual’s life experience, and both the therapist and spiritual director provide a safe, non-judgmental environment of trust and care in which the client/directee can grow in self-awareness and inner freedom.
One of the key differences is the orientation and goal of the relationship process. The orientation of psychotherapy is toward problems the client is having, and the goal is to help clients meet their stated needs and most often, to adapt to social standards of behavior.
The orientation of spiritual direction is toward responding to the divine presence in life’s joys and sorrows and toward being open to the mystery of divine presence within oneself and all of life. The goal of spiritual direction is a deepening of the directee’s relationship with the divine and a greater inner freedom to hear and follow the divine inner guidance within his/her everyday life.
What Is The Difference Between “Religion” And “Spirituality”?
While both religion and spirituality relate to the super-natural (that which we cannot see) – a sense of connection with something bigger than ourselves – the difference between the two is significant and greatly affects how we experience ourselves and our lives.
Religion, as defined by Webster, is “an organized system of beliefs, rites and celebrations, centered on a supernatural being power.”
Spirituality is defined as “a vital or animating force or soul. The part of a human being associated with the feelings and mind. Real meaning or sense of significance.”
Any religion, as an organized system or institution, offers a particular way of giving meaning to life – with a set of beliefs, rituals, codes of conduct, traditions, etc. These “rules” and rituals are human ways of expressing and trying to give meaning to our relationship with the divine and all of life. Religions also offer a community of people within which to live the lifestyle and beliefs of a particular faith expression.
Spirituality, on the other hand, is a much broader concept – relating to the inner “Spirit” – the life within each person that is connected to the whole of life, the creative power of the universe. It is often expressed as inner guidance, the divine voice within the human soul. Many believe that this creative power is the power of Love that transcends and encompasses all religions.
All energy treatments are spiritual in nature (and not religious), so they transcend all religions and nurture the spirit of the recipient, regardless of his/her religious background or beliefs. They have no dogma and there is nothing you have to believe in order to experience energy treatments.
The energy of these treatments is unconditional love, so they cannot be a violation of any religion or law. Because they nurture the mind/body/spirit unity, they promote peace and harmony, which are universal across religions and cultures.
Many people report that the experience of these treatments deepens their spirituality and so enriches their religious life.