“Word choice can be very critical as Julia Sweeney explained in Ted Talks when she stated her response would be different if someone was to ask her if she feels there is a God verses does she believe in God”
WHEN ASKED THIS QUESTION, I OFTEN SAY THAT I AM GOD AND GOD IS ME. WE ARE ALL PART OF ONE CREATION AND WE ARE MIRRORS OF THAT CREATION ON THIS EARTH FULFILLING A DIVINE AND UNIFIED PURPOSE. IF THAT SOUNDS TOO DEEP OR BEYOND A PERSON’S HEAD, THEN SIMPLY STATING THAT GOD IS A GUIDED ENTITY/ENERGY/FORCE THAT GUIDES ME TO BELIEVE AND HAVE FAITH IN ALL THAT I DO AND SAY. I FIND THE LAST SENTENCE (TED TALK) INTERESTING. SO THERE ARE THOSE WHO FEEL THERE IS A GOOD BUT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN IT? IT BRINGS ME BACK TO KATHERINE’S CO-WORKER DISCUSSION OF BELIEVING YOUR CO-WORKER EXISTS BUT NOT HAVING FAITH THAT THEY ARE ACCOMPLISHING WHAT THEIR PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND TRAINED THEM TO DO OR BE. SO CAN ONE BELIEVE THERE IS A GOD BUT THAT IT DOES NOT SERVE ANY PURPOSE IN THEIR LIFE?
“How will you approach counseling a client who has a very different religious/spiritual/non–spiritual belief different than your own?”
TO DATE, I HAVE NOT HAD AN EXPERIENCE WHERE A CLIENT PRESENTED WITH DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND. BUT THEN AGAIN, I AM A BLANK SLATE WHEN IT COMES TO THE ISSUE OF RELIGION AND ETC. I EMBODY ALL ASPECTS OF HOW ONE NAVIGATES THROUGH THIS WORLD. BEING THAT I AM A BLANK SLATE, IT HAS BEEN EASIER FOR ME TO LEARN ABOUT A CLIENT’S RELIGION AND ETC. IT HAS OFFERED ME A GATEWAY TO LEARNING MORE OF THEIR PERSONALITY, WORLDVIEWS, ETC. IN RETURN, IT HAS ALLOWED ME TO GROW AS A PERSON AND CLINICIAN PROVIDING AN ARRAY OF DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES TO WORK WITH WHEN CONFRONTED WITH SIMILAR AND DIFFERENT CLIENTS.
Should religion and spirituality be part of the expressive therapy coursework as a separate course?
INTERESTING QUESTION. I FEEL CREATIVITY, THE ARTS, EXPRESSING ONESELF IS A FORM OF RELIGION, SPIRITUALITY AND ETC. ITS THE TRUE ESSENCE OF THAT PERSON. I FEEL ITS WHERE THEY ARE MOST OF THEMSELVES, FREE AND HOLISTIC IN NATURE. A SEPARATE COURSE, YES, BUT IMPLYING THAT IT IS SEPARATE FROM THE INDIVIDUAL, I DO NOT FEEL SO.
How do you feel about a client discussing auras or spirits that they report seeing?
AS MENTIONED BEFORE, I AM OPENED TO LEARNING FROM MY CLIENTS. I FEEL IF I TAKE THE HOLISTIC APPROACH, IT OFFERS ME A BETTER VENUE TO ASSIST THEM IN THEIR PROCESS.
How can psychology, science and spirituality be integrated into practice?
RECENT RESEARCH ALREADY SHOWS THAT ALL THREE ARE INTERCONNECTED. SCIENCE ALLOWS FOR THE EXPLANATION OF HOW OUR THOUGHTS AND SOUL/SPIRITS WORK TOGETHER NOT SEPARATE. SCIENCE ALSO PROVIDES CONCRETE EVIDENCE FOR THE SKEPTICS AND THOSE THAT REQUIRE A MORE GROUNDED AND TANGIBLE EXPLANATION.
What is your opinion in including religion/spirituality into expressive therapies through artwork, dance, music, etc.?
I AM FULLY IN AGREEMENT AS THEY ARE ALL INTERRELATED, AS MENTIONED EARLIER. ART IS A FORM OF A FREEING AND SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. I FEEL IT BRINGS OUT THE TRUE COLORS, MOVEMENT, AND MELODY OF A PERSON’S LIFE AND PERSONALITY.
How much should a therapist disclose to clients regarding their own beliefs?
THIS IS A TRICKY ONE. I FEEL IF ITS NOT BROUGHT UP, THEN DO NOT OFFER. BUT IF IT IS BROUGHT UP, I THINK THE CLINICIAN SHOULD QUESTION WHY THIS IS AN IMPORTANT TOPIC OF DISCUSSION FOR THE CLIENT AND IF HE OR SHE FEELS THAT THIS MAY HINDER THE THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP. I THINK OFFERING A STATEMENT TO THE CLIENT ON HOW THIS MAY OR MAY NOT IMPACT THE THERAPY SESSIONS/RELATIONSHIP AND REASSURING THE CLIENT THAT THIS IN NO WAY WILL HINDER THE CLINICIAN’S ABILITY TO OFFER HER SERVICES IS AN INVALUABLE COMMUNICATION TO HAVE.