• Kimberly Hamilton

The Role of Spirituality in Therapy

As I sat down to write this blog, I struggled with how to start a dialogue about spirituality in therapy. Since becoming a provisional psychologist, I always understood that one of the things that sets me apart from many other psychologists is my tendency to view clients from a holistic lens. Many of my clients can relate to me because of my beliefs, my openness in talking about the Universe or spirit guides. Others can identify with me because of the various modalities I discuss in my own healing, such as Subconscious Imprinting, Craniosacral therapy or yoga. Years ago I watched the movie “The Family Stone”, where one of the characters says to Sarah Jessica Parker’s character that she has a “freak flag”. I could relate with the idea of having a“freak flag”- ways of being and believing that may be somewhat outside the cultural norms. I also felt it important to wave my “freak flag” nice and high when I started my own psychology practice, trusting that the Universe would bring me clients who also connected to those same things.

Recently, I have been undergoing a type of spiritual evolution. So what does “spirituality” mean? One definition says that “spirituality is about seeking a meaningful connection with something bigger than yourself, which can result in positive emotions, such as peace, awe, contentment, gratitude, and acceptance.” (source) This definition resonated deeply with me, as those feelings of gratitude, acceptance and contentment have very much been part of this deep dive!

The work that I have been digging into has included exploring channeling my guides and other peoples’ guides (this is still very new), playing with some mediumship, and my favourite at the moment- working with the Akashic records. I am often asked what Akashic records are. Many faiths have different names for them, including “The Book of Life.” For me, it looks like an old, vast library that stores all the volumes of my soul- experiences, beliefs, relationships, soul contracts and more. In the coming weeks, I will be learning how ancestral healing can occur within the Akashic records and this lights me up! The thought of healing my paternal and maternal lineages (as well as that of any clients who desire this work!) brings so much joy, excitement and peace to me. It is my belief that we all have trauma in our families, and to bring forward a type of healing to this intergenerational suffering fills me with hope that it doesn’t have to continue.

So the question I raise now wonders if there is room for spirituality in the psychotherapy room? It depends. For me, spirituality plays whatever role my clients want it to play. When I meet a client for the first time, I always tell them they are the experts in their journey, and I absolutely mean that. They know themselves better than I ever could, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment. So, for some, spirituality may not come into the room at all; our focus is more on the physical or psychological symptoms of what is happening for the person right now because that is what they want and need. For others, it may mean that we discuss alternative, holistic interventions- both inside and outside of my office. It might be the recommendation of a practitioner or treatment that isn’t related to therapy at all, such as subconscious imprinting or craniosacral therapy. However, there are also times when I’ve been in session with someone and I can feel their struggle, and I just know that their struggle is beyond this lifetime. In those instances, I may extend the invitation to work with me on the spiritual and psychological levels, such as through their Akashic records. It is always the client’s choice, and it is my role to support them in their healing, whatever that may look like.

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