Spirituality in Counseling


These three stories illustrate that therapy can sometimes awaken the deep spirituality that lives within us all. (Note: client names have been changed to protect their privacy).

Melissa’s Story

I remember my first serious relationship and how I was so hurt when it ended . . .

So I made a deal – never to be hurt by a relationship again. I didn’t consciously know I had made that deal. It was probably the best deal I could make at the time. It sure helped keep me from getting hurt again.

“But then I started hurting in a different way . . .”

“I didn’t have the relationship I wanted. I realized it was “the deal” I had made that kept me stuck. It kept me from getting what I really wanted.”

Every time I got into a relationship the same thing happened — I always found some way to leave, or else I found a way to make the other person leave. But that wasn’t what I wanted. Or at least it isn’t what I said I wanted. I really wanted to meet someone and get married and have kids. But that wasn’t going to happen as long as I kept pushing everyone away.

“It was ‘The Secret’ that made the difference . . .”

It made a lot of sense. I started changing some of the ways I was thinking. And that helped. But it wasn’t enough…

. . . I realized that I needed to do more than just change my thinking, I needed to change “the deal”. That deal was this negative pattern that kept repeating in my relationships.

When I started doing the work in therapy I discovered many emotions, thoughts and feelings in my body attached to “the deal”. I can’t put it into words, but I felt uneasy.

Dr. Stuart helped me understand that feelings are automatically mirrored in the body. By directly working with those feelings I experienced many shifts.

Today there’s no more conflict between what I say I want and what’s going on in my body.


Gina’s Story

“I didn’t know how lost I really was in my life until a number of weeks into therapy . . .”

It wasn’t until I sorted through a few things that I was able to look back and see how unsatisfied I was. I was putting a lot of energy into getting better on my own. I tried lots of different things. But I just kept going around in circles. Sometimes the circle looked different.  But I always seemed to end up in the same circle.

I felt heavy – tired and heavy. I felt like there was a part of me pushing to get out. It’s like my soul was pushing to get out.

But I was constantly pushing it back. I kept boxing myself in. And I was tired of it.

“It’s like I was trying to be the right person”

. . . if I did good things in the world I would be a good person. But I was just disconnected from myself. I wanted to re-connect and live my life.

Therapy helped to open my eyes.

It feels different now. At first it was scary because I just didn’t know what to expect. I can feel more and that isn’t always comfortable. At the same time I finally feel like me, like I am living my life.

In therapy I finally got my bearings, about my life and about me.


Jeff’s Story

“For years and years I did my duty. Duty first, self second . . .”

I was taught that if you do your duty grace will one day shine down on you. But when is that day? I feel so tired and it’s more than just physical.  I feel spiritually depleted.

Now, I realize the more I open up the more things come to me. Something benevolent and kind is steering my life. I don’t know what it is, but I’m willing to be open.

“The more I let go, the more that comes to me.”

I’ve arrived at a place where I see life through sweet and enquiring eyes. It doesn’t mean there are no more challenges. There are. But now I handle them differently, and I’m guided through them. Every week I experience moments of grace.

During therapy I remembered an old proverb I once heard “God visits often, but frequently we aren’t home”.  Even in the bleakest of times there had been moments of grace.

I just ‘wasn’t home’ to receive them.

I like the person I am now and the person I’m becoming. I’m happier, more grounded and more at peace than I’ve ever been in my life. I have the strongest sense of self that I’ve ever had.

Today, I’m too happy and too peaceful to be deterred from this path.