Faith and spirituality are issues that sometimes come up in connection to mental health and counseling. As a rule, I do not bring up religion or spirituality, but when my clients do, my goals are to be sensitive, deeply respectful and supportive of the self-determination of my clients.
As in other areas of counseling, it is crucial to support client self-determination when it comes to faith and spirituality. In the end it is my clients’ decision what they decide to do in and with their lives, and this is especially important in the area of spirituality. Supporting this self-determination is very important to me as a counselor.
As well, with faith and spirituality, I view my job to include to stay neutral, and also to be curious and compassionate. I strive to not push people toward or away from any faith or system of belief. Many of my clients are LDS, many have been formerly, and perhaps all are trying to find their own path in life where they belong and can also be true to themselves. Feelings about spirituality and faith in my experience are deeply personal and can be more intimate than sex. They can also be very helpful to explore. Often issues of depression, anxiety and other typical counseling need areas are tied to experiences with faith and religion, for good or bad. I try to unpack and understand these experiences from the perspective of my clients in a way that can help them move forward, when they are brought up.