Religion and spirituality have an interesting history in the mental health field. Initially regarded as pathological by mental health professionals, spirituality is being recognized as an important dimension in holistic care. In fact, asking about a client’s spirituality is now part of “best practices,” even from clinicians who describe themselves as not spiritual.
However, spirituality doesn’t always equal religion. In fact, religion is institutionalized spirituality. Though we offer Atlanta therapy from a Christian perspective, we also recognize that our clients may hold many other worldviews and we choose to respect and honor that.
There are several evidence-based mental health benefits to spirituality.
Support and Social Interaction
One of the biggest benefits is that our spiritual community typically provides support. Many churches or communities of worship have a team dedicated to caring for people who are grieving, depressed, ill, lonely, or injured. Many hold groups for support and healing.
There are often opportunities to serve the community in teams, increasing the amount of social interaction and engagement one might have access to. Togetherness is not limited to one day a week for a couple of hours.
A sense of belonging, of having a place in the world and in community, is incredibly important to mental health. Thwarted belonging is painful, and a contributing factor to depression and suicidal ideation.
In spirituality, belonging goes beyond being part of a group of people who believe the same thing (although that has benefits also). One can experience a deeper connection and sense of belonging with the Divine.
Belonging can have implications on the value we place on ourselves, and this impacts how we view our interactions with the world.
Ever heard the phrase, “Everything happens for a reason?”
To some people, this statement may be considered toxic positivity or a dismissal of the seriousness of one’s circumstances. And sometimes that can be true. Let’s be honest, some things in life seem to have no reason at all.
Still, this is an example of one’s attempt to make meaning out of something that has happened. Making meaning is incredibly powerful and humans have been aspiring to it since the beginning of time. It helps us cope with adverse events that occur both in our lives and in the world around us.
Spirituality can help clients reframe events in a way that promotes acceptance, empowerment, and healing.
Making meaning, belonging, and support/social interaction are just a few of the benefits spirituality brings to your mental health. Whether you are looking for Atlanta therapy from a Christian perspective or you have a different faith tradition that is important to you – we want to help you develop all of your strengths and tools. If you’d like to integrate your spirituality with your therapy, we are here for you. Call today.