Krishnamurti once said “the purpose of asking questions is not to get an answer but to discover something.”
Spiritual counseling is born out of the needs of the moment. It arises out of a “need to know” and asking questions, which a crisis often precipitates. Out of this tension of “needing to know” it becomes possible for clarity to arise out of the confusion and fear brought on by the crisis. My role is to assist a person to have a greater understanding through engaging in a process of self-discovery and encouraging self-acceptance as one discovers their own hidden abilities, talents and purpose for being.
People often come to counseling because they are in denial of their reality and/or own nature. They are trying to change something that they do not accept. The shear frustration of their lives not being what they wanted often brings about chronic internal torment. Out of this dissatisfaction with life, the need to consider a different way of living and thinking arises. Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of consciousness that created them.” As we begin to see how our own thinking has limited how we experience life, new choices become possible.
Spiritual counseling is a process of discovery that comes about through self-inquiry and contemplation, which can ultimately lead a person into a new state of being. It is not about getting rid of one’s fears, anxieties or depression but about seeking to understand how the nature of our mind operates to keep those negative states alive within us. Through seeing how our mind works we may then begin to make new choices to free us from our self-created limitations.
Goals of Spiritual Counseling – The purpose is to help us stop repeating the same patterns over and over again. We often reach this point of seeing that what we are doing is not working only after we have been through a great deal of pain and suffering. Learning from our previous experiences is a necessary step for our evolution towards making better choices, but it often does not come with ease. This is not a personal failure, as is often thought, but is universal to us all as part of our human condition. My role is to be a catalyst in this process of increased awareness.
Moving beyond our limitations and operating better in the world – One of the key features to spiritual counseling is to assist a person in improving how they are able to approach and work through the inevitable crises that life provides us as we grow and evolve into higher states of Being. In a strange way, it is only through our day-to-day trials and tribulations that we often begin to inquire about how to meet the struggles of life in a new way. This turns out to be one of the most important values of spiritual counseling – to develop the ability to see crises for what they are (experiences for growing) and how to resolve them in such a way that both reduces chaos in our lives as well as increase our choices and subsequent freedoms. This need often becomes paramount in order to live with greater ease in the world. And ultimately this process leads to feeling empowered and more alive in the world we live in. It is in this state of seeing what is self-evident that real transformation becomes possible.
What makes this process so hard? Discovering what is in the way often becomes one of the most important steps in the counseling process. It is often necessary to delve into questions such as “What is the nature of my resistance?” or “What are the fears that stop me from being unable to clearly see how to resolve my dilemma?” These become the stepping stones to crossing the bridge to a new way of thinking and being in the world.
The nature of spiritual counseling is distinctively different from the various psychological approaches being applied today. The ‘medical model’ of therapy focuses on diagnosing the client with a specific disorder. The ‘treatment modality’ is then based on this disorder. This approach tends to be more limiting and is based on something being ‘wrong’ with the person and that it just needs to be “fixed.” Spiritual counseling assumes we each are doing the best we can based on our family history, experiences and educational background. It is about going through a process to discover something about your own nature. It takes into account the wholeness of a person, but more significantly it also means a person can learn to make difference choices and improve the quality one’s life.
Tools – For some people, one of the tools I use in this process is neurofeedback. One of its benefits is to assist in focusing the mind, which therefore enables a person to be more in the present moment. This in turn makes it much easier to observe the contents of one mind and begin to understand how one’s state is conditioned by experiences in the past. Please click on the related link for more information.