I have been a spiritually oriented psychologist for the past 20 years. I started my training, as did everyone else in my profession, taking psychology courses and learning the language. Along the way I garnered 3 degrees including a PhD in Counseling Psychology and was a practicing therapist for nearly 25 years.
As a life long seeker I was drawn to psychology in the hopes of finding answers for issues of self-esteem and self-knowledge that had not been answered by my religion or other educational authority sources.
Psychology gave me a chance to look at myself through a totally different lens which I've applied religiously since that very first course. I say religiously for the same reasons such an attitude is applied to other venues. I was totally consumed with learning this system and anything that related to it became grist for the mill. I did grow out of that rigid stance, but that is how it all started.
Psychology helped answer many questions in ways I hadn't anticipated. It helped me see who I was and why I was faltering and feeling so bad about myself. Like a starving man I soaked it all up. And when it came to dishing religion I was onboard with those ideas as well. I knew formal religion had blocked me up significantly during my childhood and adolescent years. I knew that I had a lot of emotional unblocking to do and psychology gave me a method with which to view, understand and approach these problems.
Spirituality came into the picture along the way. During my studies I had come across books and programs that detailed a spiritual growth point of view emanating from the then New Age movement that was taking hold in the early 80's. I started reading those books alongside of my psychological studies and began to develop a picture that has come into full view today.
I am a Spiritual Psychologist. I understand the nature of emotional blocks, defense mechanisms and similar avoidance strategies that prevent people from uncovering their true nature and expressing their gifts. We are not simply a psychological being with no connection to the Almighty anymore than we are simply a spiritual being with no connection to our body and mind. We are both!
To understand ourselves and makes sense of our lives, we have to engage ourselves at a psychological level so we can rid ourselves of our blockages and escape mechanisms to access our Divinity and actualize our full potential. We need spiritual practices to access the Divine, but without a psychological relief plan, we will only be skipping over a very important dimension of our beingness.
With psychology and spirituality put together for the purposes of furthering our growth, success can be assured. We will get there, to all those places within an without, that we wish to reach. We will open ourselves up psychologically and clean out those wounds that have kept us blind to our purpose. We will attach ourselves to related spiritual practices that bring light to our life experience and realize that we cannot exclude any part of these two dimensions.
We will not use psychology to dismiss spirituality and all that it can contribute to our lives. We will not use spirituality to skip over important steps emanating from our psychological dimension. We will engage both in a full court press towards our Connecting with our Divinity which, as we shall see, includes the psychological and spiritual components.
Subsumed under both is our emotional life which has taken a beating from both dimensions when either is applied individually without addressing the other. Some spiritual practices want you to leap over your psychology and just replace negative thoughts and feelings with positive ones. Psychology for its part can easily get you bogged down in the minutest of details in terms of behavioral analysis. In its most rigid configuration, the science of psychology can prevent you from seeing the forest for the trees.
Both psychology and spirituality are clearly involved in descrigin who and what we are, while helping us decide what we wish to become. Our emotional life is front and center on this battlefield if we wish to see it as such. Otherwise, accessing and relieving ourselves of emotional blocks and traumas will make both dimensions available to scrutiny while presenting opportunities for growth.
This is what I've learned in 30 years of study and practice. My emotional life is as important as my psychological life and leads me to my spiritual wealth. Why would I want to avoid such a satisfying result by favoring one dimension over another? Why indeed?
In this blog we will be addressing these issues and bringing forth what we have learned over the past 40 years. Yes, 4 decades. I've been a seeker since age 20. I am now 64. These are my experiences, my trials and tribulations. These are also my conclusions based on the experience garnered on this path and my openness to heartfelt intuitive knowledge.
My Higher Self speaks to me through my heart. I access that inner voice every day. I rely on its guidance. It has my best interests at heart. My ego is only interested in self-aggrandizement. My True Self is interested in Love, for myself and the world around me.
The choice is simple. Choose Your Self!