Generally, humanistic psychology and spirituality in the general field of Psychology is considered to be an oxymoron. Psychology, being an objective field, tends to not involve itself in spirituality and humanistic, which is considered to deal extensively in the realm of the subjective. However, in recent years, mental health professionals have begun to incorporate spiritual and humanistic practices into their therapeutic techniques because of its proven effects in helping with the therapeutic process.
One of the common methods that mental health professionals (including wellness coaches) encourage their clients to use in the process of attaining mental wellness is meditation. Originated from ancient Hindu and Buddhist teachings, but also found in Judeo/Christian traditions, meditation has been proven to relieve stress and improve emotional stability. Those who work in the mental health field will usually prescribe meditation to their patients to help with improving the varied mental issues that their patients may have.
A common method that wellness coaches prescribe, though not as strongly associated with spiritually, is creating a “wellness vision”. In creating a wellness vision, the therapist will encourage the patient to create a statement stating their goals, hopes, and desires for the future. This practice helps to instill confidence and encourage the patient to find the energy and power from within create a better future. This method, also, has been proven to work well in changing the outlook of a generally pessimistic person.
One method that mixes the spiritual and the secular is the practice of psychosynthesis. Psychosynthesis is the exploration of thoughts, feelings and ideas of an individual in order for the individual to become self-actualized and understand their full potential. This has become a popular method to use for a patient to gain a deeper understanding in his or her own motives and intentions in order to change behavior and instill creativity one’s life.
Despite the dissonance between these aforementioned practices in humanistic psychology and spirituality and the other fields of psychology, these practices have been used by patients from the recommendations of licensed therapists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals to improve the general mental wellbeing of their patients, as well as to address the variety of different mental health issues facing people today. The desired outcome, from both mental health professionals and their patients, is the same: to improve the mental health of the individual and to become a better person in the process.