Religion and Mental Health Therapy
Updated: Oct 6, 2020
People from all cultures, backgrounds, and religious beliefs can suffer under the weight of mental health issues. Traditionally, therapists kept religion out of their office, focusing instead on their client’s mental well-being. But, since spirituality can play such a significant role in a person’s overall health, more and more mental health professionals are now beginning to incorporate the person’s religious and spiritual beliefs into their treatment plan.
For people with a strong faith, their central part of understanding themselves and their core values lives in their belief system. Instead of finding religion as an antithesis to the discipline of psychology, many therapists are now realizing that religion can and should form a large part of the solutions to underlying mental health issues of their clients.
The Primary Agent of Change in Therapy
Typically, the client is considered to be the primary agent of change in therapy. For example, Muslims believe that human beings are instructed to internally strive (jihad) and make all efforts to beneficial change. However, they also believe that it is the will of God that ultimately decides whether or not that change materializes.
Many therapists work with clients who have a strong faith must strike the balance of guiding them on their personal journeys toward health and well-being, empowering them to identify behavioral patterns and make necessary changes, all while including their beliefs into their treatment plan.
Respect the Personal Journey
A good therapist never takes a one-size-fits-all approach to their clients’ treatment plans. They respect that a person’s mental health journey is unique to them, their background, culture, and religious influences.
If you or someone you love is curious about exploring treatment options but is uncomfortable with the idea because of your religious beliefs, please reach out to me. I’d be more than happy to discuss how I might help.