Spirituality

The term spirituality has evolved and broadened over time and typically refers to a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves. Spirituality is an expansive and wide-ranging concept encompassing many points of view. It often involves a search for meaning in life. Although it means different things to different people, spirituality can play an important role in helping people address mental health issues and maintain good mental health generally. A spiritual practice can help individuals stay grounded and provide a framework for coping with stress. If you are interested in expressing or exploring your spirituality as a part of therapy, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s spirituality experts today.

Meet the specialists

Laura Giles believes that the expression of spirituality is as important a component of wholeness as the mind, body, and emotions. She will support you in whatever your beliefs are and encourage you to lean into that to support your journey through life.

— Laura Giles, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Henrico, VA
 

Many clients report feeling more connected to themselves when they feel more connected to their spirituality. I enjoy working with people who find their spirituality is important to them. I explore these beliefs with clients, and include them in their treatment, when clients feel it useful. My background is especially suited for people who subscribe to eastern spiritual beliefs, but I can also work with those aligned with western beliefs.

— Sara Rotger, Marriage & Family Therapist in Montrose, CA

As a practitioner, I am comfortable working with you within your spiritual framework. Therapy is also a space for anyone who has suffered harm from their experiences in religion, has questioned their faith, or has experienced the disorienting experience of leaving your faith community. This is challenging and important work, and I am comfortable sitting with you in that discomfort.

— Brittany Boney, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR
 

I am animistic in my spiritual foundation, which is an experience of all things as having an essence, or a soul, and many of my practices are shamanic in foundation. I am passionate about helping clients find ways to ground their daily experience in a realistic and healthy balance of the practical every day and the sacred every day. My modern (broken path) shamanic mentoring is ongoing with Kelley Harrell, and began with a 2-year intensive program through the same instructor. As an anti-oppressive informed practitioner, I do bring thoughtful dialogue about cultural appropriation and responsible, ethical spiritual practices that do not take from oppressed cultures or perpetuate oppressive narratives.

— Brandice Schnabel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in North Canton, OH

In addition to my Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling, I also have a Master's degree in Divinity. I worked for 11 years in Hospice as a spiritual care counselor. During that time I counseled many people around their spiritual beliefs and ways to find meaning in their life. My approach was contemplative rather than dogmatic and I always honored the person's beliefs that I was working with.

— Todd Thillman, Counselor in Lafayette, CO
 

I conducted my doctoral research on spiritual emergence and am the director of a non profit dedicated to serving spiritual experiencers. I train other professionals about how to support those who have had spiritually transformative experiences such as near death experiences, kundalini awakenings, and episodes of unitive consciousness. I also help people to integrate shifts they have elicited through psychedlics, meditation, or yoga.

— Katrina Michelle, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York, NY

To me, spirituality encompasses the practice of asking life's big questions like: "Why are we here?" and "Am I happy?" or "What is my intended work and purpose?" and "What do I really believe in?" Inviting a spiritual connection into a counseling space can be helpful in getting to the heart of the matter instead of skimming the surface and making internal and environmental shifts that truly feel like you and last a lifetime.

— Alysa Romano, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

I know the Christian faith and Bible well. I graduated from a Seminary. I work with people of all faith (and no faith) backgrounds.

— Forest Benedict, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

What kinds of people/stories/topics "move" you, speak to your heart, make you teary eyed? Are you passionate about a movement or cause? What is meaningful to you about your own life story? Discovering what is personally meaningful to you will aid in living a more fulfilling, purposeful, heart-centered life. I believe that we all have the innate capacity to connect to our own divine nature, and when we learn to access it, can help guide us to more meaningful living. I believe in mystery, and that not all things are to meant to be factual, scientific, or proven to be worthy of belief.

— Lisa Wheeler, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX
 

I have a MA and Ph.D. In Religious Studies and have taught religious studies classes for the last 15 years at Arizona State University. I am currently full-time faculty there. My main focus has been gender issues in relation to religious identity. Combined with my Master in Social Work, this education and experience allows me to work with clients who deal with religious identity issues, and I have a special interest in religious trauma.

— Doe Daughtrey, Social Worker in Gilbert, AZ

My master's degree is in Transpersonal Counseling and Art Therapy from Naropa University, a Buddhist-inspired degree program. I have specific training in guiding clients to examine their relationship to the world, spiritual framework, and existential concerns. Regardless of your religious upbringing, I can work with you to help find meaning and truth in your experience.

— Sarah Klein, Licensed Professional Counselor in Fort Collins, CO
 

Spirituality is a dimension of being human. Having training from an interfaith perspective, I am well-positioned to provide spiritually integrated psychotherapy or spiritual direction to practically all faiths. My dissertation was on whether or not family therapists around the US met the spiritual needs of their clients. One of the ways I do this is by recognizing the meaning-making processes around values clients have. This allows the sacred to be discussed alongside or within the secular.

— Daniel Stillwell, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Charlotte, NC

Religion and spirituality are a core part of the human experience. However, many of us have found ourselves wounded by the patriarchy, homophobia, and racial separatism found in so many western religions. Moreover, many people have found that the dogmatism found in religious institutions do not serve to hold space for their many questions and the mystery of the human experience. I invite my clients to talk about issues related to spirituality, such as questions about the meanings and purpose of life, questions about "God" and healing from harmful or lackluster experiences with religion.

— Addie Liechty, Clinical Social Worker in Oakland, CA

While I am clinically trained to offer services to most people who need help with stress, anxiety, and relationships, I can also offer a Christian perspective on anxiety and relationships for those who want to work on these issues with someone who understands and respects the Christian worldview. I have heard from many Christians that they want to have a counselor who can identify with with Biblical concepts with which they were raised or believe to be an important part of their lives.

— Jim Ciraky, Counselor in Canton, GA
 

The fundamental approach in my life stems from my spiritual practice, a blend of buddhism, paganism, and a love for Passover. Some of my clients are not spiritually oriented, which is totally fine, I also understand secular approaches, including Humanism. However, if you wish to integrate your understanding and exploration of spirituality in your treatment, that works for me!

— kaseja wilder, Counselor in Eugene, OR

Spirituality most definitely does not mean that you have to embrace any existing concept of God. I like to work with folks to help them find a mode of spirituality that connects them with their intuition and their highest sense of self and purpose. Even if you hate all words and concepts connected with religion or "new age", we can work together to find that still sense of connection to something beyond yourself that will help feel a sense of purpose and rightness in the world.

— Angela Albert, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA
 

I draw on heart-centered relational spirituality based on three key components of our human existence: the earth, the spirit, and the heart. We integrate our earthly energy from below and our spiritual energy from above at our hearts, and from there we connect with and embody our own unique truths in our relationships with others in the world. As a result, there is less and less discrepancy between our inner and outer worlds, and we become truly alive in our own bodies in our own lives.

— Hideko Ota, Counselor in Oakland, CA

I provide space for spiritual beliefs and practices to be included in the therapy process, and I help those who struggle to reconcile spiritual/religious conflict.

— Loretta Staples, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New Haven, CT
 

Connecting to true purpose is a process. It's much easier to explore with support from a specialist. I have a history of helping people get off the 9-5 hamster wheel and build a life around the unique purpose they were created for. Purpose seeking can feel like a dead end when you have bills to pay. But a meaningful day-to-day life is just around the corner through prioritizing your gifts.

— Kathryn Sills-Payne, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Oakland, CA

Spirituality is a core aspect of humanity. I have pursued deep studies in spirituality over the years including Catholicism (radical, liberation theology), Hinduism and Advaita Vedanta (non dual understanding and philosophy), Buddhism, Taoism, and indigenous spirituality including Druidic studies (my own heritage) . My pursuit of knowledge in these areas is not just intellectual; it is experiential. I help people dive into their own spirituality and consider it an essential aspect of healing.

— Susan Pease Banitt, in Portland, OR
 

I am a Christian and have incorporated Christian aspects and ideologies into my practice if requested. I believe in spirituality and not religion and help others to focus on the spiritual aspect and not to get caught up on some man-made religious practices. Since incorporating spirituality, clients have discovered a new aspect of self and grow mentally and spiritually.

— Melissa Webb, Counselor in St. Louis, MO

For half a decade, I have been on a mission to better understand and spread compersion, the joy we experience when witnessing the success and happiness of others. A key component of empathy and a vital corollary to compassion, practicing compersion, or “joy resonance” (mudita in Buddhism), has an incredible untapped potential to help heal, grow, and liberate our love on the path to more fulfilling relationships of all kinds. You can read more on the Grateful Heart website (https://gratefulhearttherapy.org/blog/).

— Anna Hirsch, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Oaklnd, CA
 

Religion and spirituality are a core part of the human experience. However, many of us have found ourselves wounded by the patriarchy, homophobia, and racial separatism found in so many western religions. Moreover, many people have found that the dogmatism found in religious institutions do not serve to hold space for their many questions and the mystery of the human experience. I invite my clients to talk about issues related to spirituality, such as questions about the meanings and purpose of life, questions about "God" and healing from harmful or lackluster experiences with religion.

— Addie Liechty, Clinical Social Worker in Oakland, CA

I have a MA and Ph.D. In Religious Studies and have taught religious studies classes for the last 15 years at Arizona State University. I am currently full-time faculty there. My main focus has been gender issues in relation to religious identity. Combined with my Master in Social Work, this education and experience allows me to work with clients who deal with religious identity issues, and I have a special interest in religious trauma.

— Doe Daughtrey, Social Worker in Gilbert, AZ
 

Drawing upon an integral perspective, I work with people who are experiencing a wide variety of holistic changes of a profound and life altering nature.

— Mike Doogan, Counselor in Portland, OR

If you read my anxiety post, it's an easy leap to see how there are spiritual questions on most people's minds. Are you searching for "something" and can't find it? Are you questioning the beliefs your parents taught you, or even the beliefs you held not long ago? Are you wondering what "religion" is the "right" one? Are you uncomfortable with talking to friends and family because they'd judge you or ask questions you don't want to answer- or can't? You can express yourself here. You can ask the hard questions. (I don't claim to have all the answers!) You won't be judged. You will be challenged to find answers to your questions and given tools to help you do that. If you want someone to pray with you or for you I will do that. While I have my own beliefs, that of course I believe to be correct (or becoming more correct), I truly believe each person has their own journey they must travel and I'm here to help you on your path (not mine).

— Michelle Broweleit, Counselor in Vancouver, WA