Spiritually-Informed Christian Counseling
In your practice of religious faith, do you:
1) Struggle to feel a sense of connection with God?
2) Experience dryness and impotence in your prayer life?
3) Feel a lack of desire for your old spiritual ways?
4) Find yourself maintaining a simple desire to love God nonetheless?
If you answered "yes" to these questions, then you may be experiencing a spiritual trial. As unpleasant as they can sometimes be, they are not necessarily a hinderance to spiritual growth. Instead, they can be indications that your spiritual journey is transforming and heading in new directions. If you are experiencing spiritual dryness, I can help you tease apart your emotional experiences from spiritual ones, and understand the source of your spiritual dryness. Monitoring the impact of spiritual trials on your mental health is important for remaining mentally strong in the face of spiritual battles. Christian counselors are helpful for this, and they appreciate spiritual concerns while working with them in non-pathologizing ways. Meet with a Christian counselor today at Huston Therapy and reap the benefits of a strengthened mind-body-spirit connection!
The Intersection of Christian Fatih and Counseling Psychology
In your practice of faith, do you:
1) Experience difficulty focusing when worshiping or praying?
2) Feel overcome with anxiety when leading prayer or participating in group activities?
3) Struggle with low energy or depression which keeps you away from religious events?
If you answered "yes" to these questions, then you may be experiencing a psychological impairment effecting your ability to participate in faith. These individuals may perceive themselves to be "lacking in faith" but should not fault themselves spiritually when experiencing mental obstacles and should seek mental health counseling. In some cases, psychological barriers can disrupt spiritual growth and in others cases, they can reveal doorways to a deeper connection with God. To determine if your mental struggles may reveal a doorway for spiritual growth, please come see me! Mental issues are by no means "holy," but may have a positive impact on your spirituality.
Experiencing spiritual and psychological trails?
Mental health therapists and spiritual directors should communicate where confusion exists over the origin of human suffering. At Huston Therapy, you will find a therapist who understands the intersection of faith and psychology and who will point you in the right direction of spiritual and/or mental care. At Huston Therapy, you have the option of inviting your spiritual guides to therapy so your treatment can be spiritually informed and aligned with your personal, religious values.
Schedule an appointment with your spiritual guides here.
St. John of the Cross ( 1542-1591)
Catholic Saint Carmelite Friar Spanish Mystic
Author of The Dark Night of the Soul and
The Ascent of Mount Carmel
Catholic Counseling; The Dark Night of the Soul
What is it? Is it real? Who came up with it?
St. John of the Cross, a Catholic saint, coined the term a Dark Night of the Soul in reference to a spiritual process whereby an individual's soul is allowed to feel God's total absence. The distressing feeling of God's total absence
paradoxically leads individuals to seek God in deeper ways which results in profound spiritual maturity.
St. John of the Cross believed he experienced a Dark Night of the Soul while he was kidnapped and tortured by a group of Carmelites in the 1500s. As great as his physical and psychological pain was, he believed God's absence was more difficult to bear. When his trials ended, he wrote about encountering God's love more deeply on the other side of what felt like spiritual death. He believed his spirit was "purified, strengthened and confirmed, so as to become an effectual partaker of that union which is the divine espousal of the soul to the Son of God."
The Perspective of a Psychiatrist
A Dark Night of the Soul is not a pathological trial, but a spiritual one
According to Gerald May, author of The Dark Night of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection between Darkness and Spiritual Growth, not every trial we face can be treated by a medical doctor or a psychiatrist. Some trials are spiritual in nature and should be treated with spiritual care. The Dark Night of the Soul is a bittersweet process which creates space in the human hear for
mystical developments to occur. Like a helicopter which cannot land unless there is an open field, God, the rescuer of His beloved people, cannot inhabit their souls unless there is space for him to dwell. Experiencing a Dark Night of the Soul does not indicate that something in your life is going wrong, but rather something is going exquisitely right if you endure with an open heart and mind.
If you might be undergoing a Dark Night of the Soul, I may be one among few professionals who can help you!