Spirituality, a search for transcendent meaning or the belief in some sort of greater existence outside of humankind, can be linked to religion, but the practice of spirituality is generally considered to go beyond religion and connect individuals with something greater than themselves, such as the universe itself. Gaining and connecting to one’s spirituality can be seen as the attempt to understand one's nature or the meaning of one's existence, but spirituality is also linked to one's path to internal awareness and happiness. Spirituality may also describe the attention people pay to their own well-being and that of others. For many, the practice of dance, yoga, and meditation can be considered outlets in which to express spirituality. Many cultures and belief systems hold that one's spirit is the essence of one's existence, and thus, spirituality may also describe for some people their connection to each other and to themselves. Volunteer work and being of service to others may provide that connection.
Both therapists and those seeking treatment may hesitate to include spirituality or religion in the practice of therapy, yet so many individuals are suffering from a spiritual starvation. Exploration of these beliefs is truly beneficial to alleviate suffering and aid in the process of healing and support. This spiritual starvation may manifest with both mental and physical symptoms, so a therapist who explores these topics may be able to offer even a deeper level of healing and support.
This type of therapy may also involve communing with nature, meditation, music, and other non-traditional therapeutic practices, all of which may be employed in an effort to connect the body and mind with the soul and explore the deepest part of one's self. While spirituality is often categorized with religion, one's spirituality may have nothing to do with religion but be simply an awareness of the universe and one's connection to it. Often, individuals who describe themselves as spiritual state their desire to attain a feeling of harmony with the universe and pursue spiritual therapy in an effort to achieve this goal.
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Kersting, K. (2003). Religion and Spirituality in the Treatment Room. Monitor on Psychology, 34(11), 40-40.
Maloof, P. (n.d.). Body/Mind/Spirit: Toward a Biopsychosocial-Spiritual Model of Health. Retrieved from