Spiritual Emergency Alert!

Jeff Guenther on Jul 07, 2019

I have been wanting to add additional categories to the Specialized Experience filter on TherapyDen’s search page for awhile. Part of the delay is due to the fact that I just can’t come up with a name for one of the categories. So, I figured I would reach out to the mental health community and crowdsource solutions.

The Specialized Experience filter allows therapy seekers to really hone in on therapists that have specific training and competence in areas relevant to them. The categories TherapyDen currently lists are:

  • Body-positive/Health at Every Size
  • Racial justice framework
  • Sex-Positive/Kink friendly
  • Trans-competent
  • Queer-competent
  • 12-step friendly
  • Veterans
  • Sex work positive
  • Open relationships/non-monogamy
  • Vegan

One new category (which we did not have trouble naming) is “Psychedelic Integration Therapy.” Now to be clear, TherapyDen is not encouraging therapists to provide psychedelic drugs to their clients. However, I do want people who are searching for therapists that have knowledge and training in this area to easily find a counselor that can competently process, unpack and integrate these experiences in a way that promotes growth and healing.

If you’re a therapist that has specialized experience and training in psychedelic integration therapy, I encourage you to create a profile on TherapyDen because there are clients that are looking for you.

Help TherapyDen and take our survey please

The second category we plan to add is the one I’m having a problem naming. And that’s where I need you’re help. This week, on the Say More About That podcast, I talked to Dr. Katrina Michelle, who serves as the executive director for The American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences (ACISTE). She’s a very talented clinician who also trains counselors and wellness practitioners on how to competently address spiritually transformative experiences with clients. You can listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or by clicking play below.

I have been wanting to help clients find therapists that are competently trained in counseling people that have had spiritual or transcendent experiences, but it’s really difficult to come up with a name for this category that all, or at least most, people will understand.

The experiences I am talking about manifest in many different ways. For example, a spiritually transformative experience could be any of the following:

  • Near death experience
  • Out of body experience
  • Feeling of oneness with the universe
  • Psychedelic experience
  • God consciousness
  • Communicating with people who have died
  • Communicating with spirit guides
  • Hearing voices from another realm
  • Experiencing synchronicities
  • Easily manifesting things or experiences into reality

One could argue that every experience we have is a spiritual experience. But sometimes these experiences are loaded with meaning or are abrupt and jarring. Instead of going to a hospital or being prescribed medication or being told you’re crazy, a better course of action might be to find a therapist that has specialized training and experience integrating these occurrences so that they can ground the client and help them grow or evolve.

My challenge is to come up with a term so that people can quickly understand the meaning when filtering for a therapist that can help them with these experiences. I have come up with a handful of contenders and I would love it if you would vote for your favorite below. The term with the most votes will be the winner and will be added to TherapyDen. It only takes second to choose your preferred answer. And if you don’t think there are any terms that do the job, suggest your own. Remember, the typical person, who is not trained in counseling, needs to be able to look at the term and understand what it means. Or at least get a sense of what it means.

Thanks for taking the time to fill out the survey. You’re helping people get the care they need!

Jeff Guenther, LPC, is a therapist in Portland, OR. He has been in private practice since 2005. Jeff is the creator and owner of Portland Therapy Center, a highly ranked therapist directory. Jeff, and his team, have launched a new progressive therapist directory, TherapyDen.

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