Spiritual psychotherapy

Am J Psychother. Spring 1999;53(2):143-62. doi: 10.1176/appi.psychotherapy.1999.53.2.143.


The author proposes the practice of spiritual psychotherapy, which transcends but does not preclude traditional modalities or strategies of treatment. The terms soul and spirit are distinguished as different transpersonal abstractions, yet are inextricably linked. The former aims at revealing the mystery of relatedness and intimacy in everyday life, the latter at finding the divine in universal life. For the spiritual therapist, these concepts are applied to a therapeutic context of care and compassion--which means love and belief beyond oneself. More specifically, the way to soulfulness requires Love of Others, Love of Work, and Love of Belonging, whereas the way to spirituality requires Belief in the Sacred, Belief in Unity, and Belief in Transformation. By cultivating a soulful and spiritual existence, thus conducting one's clinical practice on the basis of these six tenets of transcendence, the therapist can guide the patient to reach his or her own authentic self.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Mental Healing*
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Psychotherapy / methods*