Physical, mental, and emotional health are important elements of wellbeing, but they are not the only considerations. Spirituality, or “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things,” (Oxford Living Dictionaries, n.d.) is an important aspect of overall wellness too. For some of your clients, spiritual wellness might include practicing their religious faith. For others, addressing their spiritual needs could include joining a mediation group, practicing yoga, or simply setting aside time each day for quiet contemplation.
Each client you encounter will have slightly different needs or preferences regarding their spirituality. To help them begin or continue that journey, here are some spiritual wellness concepts you may encounter during your counsellor training.
When You Become a Counsellor, Transpersonal Therapy Can Help Your Clients Explore Their Spirituality
Combining holistic wellness concepts with the counselling you provide means addressing each of your clients’ physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. This multifaceted approach can help your clients rediscover personal truths, find strength to overcome adversity, and make other positive and lasting changes in their lives.
Transpersonal therapy, or therapy that goes beyond the personal, is a means of improving spiritual wellness and fulfillment offered in professional counsellor training. It is a therapy that addresses a client’s spiritual state of being by focusing on improving their personal relationship with and understanding of meaningful ideas or beliefs in higher powers (Goodtherapy.org, n.d.). It can involve techniques like breath work, journaling, symbolic art work, and other activities that can help a person express or explore their spirituality (Counselling Directory, n.d.).
Meditation and Relaxation Techniques Are Effective Tools You Will Develop in Your Wellness Training Courses
For millennia, many cultures around the world have used the spiritual practice of meditation as a means of finding fulfillment and achieving spiritual wellness. In recent years, research has found that in addition to those benefits, meditation can help with the management of depression and anxiety, help people deal with pain, and provide other measurable medical benefits (Goyal, Singh, Sibinga, et. al, 2014). This helps to illustrate how each aspect of a person’s wellbeing is interconnected, and how a holistic approach can help clients overcome barriers and achieve fulfillment.
Meditation takes active participation, and can be difficult for clients who are just starting out. That’s why it is best for clients to learn about meditation from professionals who are themselves well-versed in meditative practice. The hands-on experiential approach offered by Rhodes College is of great utility in teaching you how to use meditative and relaxation techniques once you become a counsellor.
Non-Violent Communication Methods Will Be Important When You Become a Counsellor
Non-violent communication is an approach to expression that is wholesome, welcoming, and constructive. It is a form of communication that is rooted in compassion and can be of great use in counselling and therapy (The Center for Nonviolent Communication, 2014).
Non-violent communication helps counsellors create a welcoming environment for their clients. It is an approach that clients can use at work, at home, and at school as they learn to express their authentic selves and withhold judgement of others (The Center for Nonviolent Communication, 2014). Through this, you can encourage powerful spiritual growth and promote a sense of peace in your clients as they apply the lessons learned in counselling sessions to their daily lives.
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Counselling Directory. (n.d.). Transpersonal psychology. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/transpersonal-psychology.html#howdoestranspersonalpsychologywork
GoodTherapy.org. (n.d.). Transpersonal Psychotherapy. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from http://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/types/transpersonal-psychotherapy
Goyal, M., MD, MPH, Singh, S., MD, MPH, & Sibinga, E. M., MD, MPH. (2014, March). Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1809754
Hahn, T. N. (2013). The Art of Communicating. Retrieved February 24, 2017. NYCNVC. (n.d.). What Is Nonviolent Communication? Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.nycnvc.org/our-work/
Oxford Living Dictionaries. (n.d.). Spirituality. Retrieved February 27, 2017, from https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/spirituality
Taylor, S., Ph.D. (2015, September 25). Transpersonal Psychology. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201509/transpersonal-psychology
The Center for Nonviolent Communication (2014, August 14). What is NVC. Retrieved February 28, 2017, from https://www.cnvc.org/about/what-is-nvc.html