Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What is your interior spiritual life like?

I am a psychotherapist. I have been a Psychiatric Social Worker for 47 years. I am semi retired but still see clients in my office for psychiatric and social problems. Once I have established a trusting relationship, I sometimes ask my client, when it seems appropriate, "What is your interior spiritual life like?"

When I first considered asking clients this question, I was hesitant, because it is not really the job of a therapist to ask such questions about religion and spirituality. We usually stick to the medical, social, and psychological concerns of the client. Further, it seemed to me to be an extremely intimate question and I didn't want to intrude into areas where my questions would be unwelcome. To my relief, I have always gotten a thoughtful response to the question and rarely has a client questioned what I mean or why I am asking.

Our spiritual life seems, in our contemporary society, to be almost a taboo subject and yet a topic that people want to talk about with someone they trust and feel comfortable with. "Religion" has too often become a commodity and churches are trying to compete in the market place to sell potential customers something. Spirituality is not a commodity but an awareness about life, a way of living that gives our lives meaning and joy.

And so the question is "What is your interior spiritual life like?"

1 comment:

  1. Religion is about joining an organization with certain creed or beliefs, certain practices, certain history and traditions, and certain "experts" or people who represent the religion to the "lay people." Spirituality is about a person's relationship with his/her Higher Power whatever they conceive that Higher Power to be.

    Some people can be religious and not spiritual.
    Some people can be spiritual but not religious.
    Some people can be both spiritual and religious.

    Where would you place your self in these three possibilities?