Spiritual Counselling can facilitate an individual’s deep inner self healing, by teaching them simple and ancient tools. It is a holistic and complementary form of counselling and an effective alternative to modern mainstream techniques.
The below article by Yoga Meditation Healing was published by COSCA – a Scottish Counselling and Psychotherapy Magazine under the title – Spiritual Counselling:
We all stand upon the shoulders of our ancestors; our technological and scientific age would not exist without the lineage of our collective learning. The rational realms of science and medicine have done what humans do best; plagiarise, adapt and pass on. Or simply put, change. Science’s mechanistic interpretation of humanity chose for certain reasons to remove the concept of the Soul from the Body and Mind structure, possibly seeing it as a throwback to an antiquated view of “Simpler peoples” connected to spiritual superstition via the stranglehold of religious organisations. The rationale of Science had no room for the concept of a “Soul” within its individual interpretation of humanity. This Cartesian approach served science well, but to the detriment of our concept of “Spirit or Soul”.
For modern medicine, despite the gains and endless endeavours made by science and even with the might of our greatest minds, corporations and charities, diseases like cancer continue to affect many and each new generation seems to face a new dis-ease. Science and medicinal treatments can extend life, but at what cost to the deeper quality of our lives if the Soul is ignored. To create the deepest levels of healing we must not only address the healing of our bodies and minds, but our spirits as well.
All Counselling is Spiritual. The mainstream of counselling may not presently agree with this statement, but from a holistic perspective the soul cannot be left out of our Health and Wellbeing equation, for as humans we truly are Mind, Body and Spirit. A wide array of individuals and organisations who offer various styles of counselling do so from a very giving place, whether that is psychiatrists, psychologists, hypnotherapists or those who offer relationship, bereavement, family or child counselling. Here too lies a place for complementary forms of counselling like Spiritual counselling.
Spiritual Counselling is one of the oldest forms of help and assistance available to all who seek it. This complementary and alternative form of Counselling has its roots within Shamanic and indigenous techniques and is based around the concept that our Soul requires care, nurturing, and above all, to be listened to. When times arise whereby we continually ignore the wellbeing and urging of our soul we move from our true path, as we suppress the gift we have to offer and chose to bring to this world. When we as humans hold our gift back, not only do we see physical and emotional illness spiral, but we also see this illness spew out upon our planet with the degradation of our oceans, land, forests and wildlife. When we make our planet sick, we make ourselves sick. At such times illness of an emotional or physical form can arise within us, and no matter what form of modern medicine or therapy we avail off, no complete peace and healing seems to be attained.
Dis-ease is what arises. Or it could be said that the soul manifests Dis-ease within us as a method of expressing to the self that we need to look beyond the dis-ease, to the “seed” of the problem. So dis-ease within the body and mind structure should be seen as the Soul’s somewhat drastic method to challenge us to bring about true healing, at the deepest levels.
Spiritual Counselling is based upon the belief that all healing lies within each of us and just as we create our own dis-ease, we also have the power to create our own ease, health and wellbeing within every facet of our lives. The message the soul is attempting to convey is underlying the dis-ease. The inner pain that erupts is part of our healing. The Sufi saying, “When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the soul laughs for what it has found”, is a poignant aphorism to shed light on what spiritual counselling seeks to bring. With spiritual healing we are using a higher power, our higher self to work with us to achieve this deep state of inner healing.
Spiritual Counselling is a preventive and proactive form of healing. As such, individuals who feel certain forms of emotional or physical stress within their lives can quickly gain access to a method which will give them simple skills and tools to deal with the increasingly common side effects of modern life, and in doing so, prevent a buildup of these stressors. These simple tools can directly alleviate the chance of the conditions worsening, and in doing so, release the pressure on the already over burdened health service. Many great minds throughout time and throughout all reaches of the globe have spoken of the wellbeing of the soul being directly connected to the wellbeing of the body and mind structure. The ancient words of the great Western and Eastern minds convey this. Yet ultimately no change is possible unless we truly will it, as Gandhi said:
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”
Like all forms of counselling each potential client should be assessed in order to determine if the technique will be an appropriate option for their wellbeing. Therefore interviewing clients prior to arranging a session will quickly determine if they should proceed, or if they would be better served to seek a mainstream form of counselling.
It should also be established during the initial interview if the client has a history of seeking negative attention via the arena of “Therapy” so that you do not to become the next in line of “listeners” whom the client seeks to continue the habitual pattern with. What’s best for the client is paramount, even if they do not see it that way.
Spiritual Counselling can be facilitated in many ways. One of these ways is to Journey. Journeying is Shamanic in its nature. The client is placed into an alternative state of consciousness whilst, at the same time, the conscious mind is directed to become the observer, gently instructing it to flow with the Journey without interfering. This thereby gives the client access to a continuous stream of sub-conscious matter, which they can then journey through until finally, with guidance, they travel to the “Seed” of their dis-ease. As with all forms of counselling the client is comfortable in the knowledge that they will be “opening” within a safe, nonjudgmental environment. Assured of this, they are in full control of their personal journey, knowing that the guide is listening without judgement as they the client shares intimate details of their life. This in itself has a very positive effect on the desired outcome.
Within Spiritual counselling the goal is to find, heal and remove or re-pattern the seed of a client’s dis-ease, and in doing so bring true healing. This counselling is viewed at the very level of the soul, the place where the true self, stripped of ego, with all its masks removed, cannot exist. For to remove only the fruit of the seed, or even the root, will only bring temporary relief as the dis-ease will return as another manifestation of dis-ease, like a resilient weed. So a deep emotional and spiritual surgery is required. The outcome of this simple process: a spiritual emergence.
To attain this state, arrays of well known tools are at hand. Using an amalgamation of calming music, breath work, hypnotic techniques, together with guided visualisation and gentle verbal instruction, the client can enter a deep state of relaxation, and into an Altered State of Consciousness (ASC). It is imperative throughout the process that the Guide (Spiritual Counsellor) remains vigilant to using strictly non-directive language therefore no suggestions, prompts or inferences are made. The client is left to flow freely through the realms of the sub-conscious mind to visit memories and the rich expanse within. During this time archetypes and metaphors can arise which the client will verbalise to the Guide. The Guide remains vigilant for signs of the client’s rational mind interfering with the process and may be required to facilitate movement past the blocks by focusing the client’s awareness on the physical manifestations arising within their body, or even to simply instruct the client to refocus their awareness upon their breath, both of which will quickly carry them back into their Journey.
At the next stage clients will experience physical releases, varying from rapid eye movement, gentle muscular twitches, tremors and spasms, to powerful jolts and body movements. Throughout these important releases the Guide remains calmly spoken and clients are encouraged to verbalise these releases without censor or suppression. They are asked to journey deeper within the releases, describing in detail where emanate within or upon the body, detailing their perceived colour, or if they feel warm, cold or tepid. This process assists the client to move deeper towards an emotional release which metaphorically is held deep within the physical symptoms manifesting. This is an important juncture within the whole process of healing, as the client is moving from the physical sensations towards the emotional sensations connected to them. At this transitional period blocks can arise which may prevent the client from moving forward in their journey. The client is assured they are not being judged, and they are safe to journey forward through the perceived obstacles. A Somatic approach may need to be introduced to help them through this transition if the blocks remain.
As the client moves forward the emotional releases can again range from the subtle to the extreme, including the release of loud animalistic sounds, verbalisations of anger, grief and spontaneous swings from crying to laughter. In either case it is important to give as much time as is necessary for the client to completely release all emotions related to the physical manifestations. Thereafter the emotions lead the client to memories linked to the physical and emotional manifestations. Therefore, sensations which manifest upon the body are seen as important stepping stones towards the deeper emotions and memories which lie within them. Once the sub-conscious mind feels it is safe to release the memory, clients are then instructed to verbalise the memory to the Guide, who will be taking notes and instructing the client to return again and again to the memory. With each return detailing more about the memory they are visiting. During this revisiting of the memory, the initial memory is vague and the emotional release is intense. However each time more of the memory is uncovered, the emotional release decreases. The client verbalises the memory until it is evaporated. This will occur when the memory no longer causes disturbance of the mind and can be easily and calmly recounted to the Guide. At this point it can be observed that the memory or emotion no longer holds power over the client, and positive re-patterning can begin. At times a spiritual emergence can arise, for within the fibres at the centre of suffering and dis-ease, lies hidden paths, to our inner true self, leading to our deepest healing.
It should be noted that “Touch” is an important tool to aid healing, and release blocks. Fortunately, within the Shamanic art of healing, we are not restricted by certain protocol and rules which the medical world has, such as the law of Transference. I have had clients such as Doctors and GP’s who expressed that at times they knew their clients would be better served by a hug than a prescription.
New models for health care and well-being are always evolving. The reincorporation of older successful forms of healing, and remaining open to every form of healing that is proven to aid each individual on their own path to good health and well being is a necessary part of humanity’s evolution. Complementary methods should receive fair and impartial promotion within any health service, and should be available and open to all so that both modern Western forms of healing can join in partnership with Eastern and indigenous forms of ancient healing.
If modern modalities of healing are to remain and grow, science must learn to embrace ideas that have been ignored for too long. So too as individuals, if we are to remain and grow as a species, we will have to draw back from placing too much dependence upon science and medicine delivering that all illusive “Magic Bullet” for our own healing, and reopen to the knowledge that we as individuals hold the key to the deepest levels of our physical, emotional and spiritual self healing.