Introduction to Spiritually-Integrated Psychotherapy

The creeds, community and resources of our religion and spirituality speak into our most significant moments of life: change, loss, growth, death and birth. Our religious and spiritual resources also speak into the normal moments of day-to-day living: awe at the colour of the sky, a spouse’s embrace or the use of water. Finally, they speak into our moments of lack: abandonment, aloneness, injustice, doubt and despair (Pargament, 2007, pg. 3). 

When we engage in psychotherapy as clients, we bring our full selves: physical, cognitive, emotional, social and spiritual. A therapist who matches us as a client well is one who can bring us into awareness of our physicality, help us sort through our cognitions, help us sit with our emotions, provide perspective on our relationships and allow space for our spirituality. The fact that religion and spirituality is a real part of so many human lives, and has been for all of human history, is a major part of why I openly integrate spirituality in my own psychotherapy practice.

Through the process of psychotherapy, we are given the safe space to explore life’s most meaningful and taboo subjects, including love, hate, death, suicidality, pain, sex, embarrassment and hope. Kenneth I. Pargament, clinical psychologist and professor, in his book Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy (2007), asks: why should spirituality be left out of this mix? The therapy office can be a safe space for this too. The therapy office is a space for the whole person. Godly or godless, theist or atheist, discerning or decided, therapy ought to welcome everyone, and the whole of everyone. 

Over these next weeks, my Sunday Series articles will explore topics and themes of spiritually-integrated psychotherapy. Upcoming topics will include how spirituality can be a resource in one’s mental wellbeing, how it can be a hurdle in one’s mental wellbeing, how stress interacts with spirituality and more thorough rationale and argument for why spirituality does indeed have a place in the practice of psychotherapy. If you have questions or curiosities you wish for me to answer about spiritually integrated psychotherapy, please comment below or email me at


Pargament, K. I. (2007). Spiritually integrated psychotherapy: Understanding and addressing the sacred. Guilford Press.

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