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A short note on psychological healing and spiritual practice

My primary passion lies in the interweaving of psychological integration processes and spiritual practice.  In my experience, when these two aspects of life are carefully and effectively interwoven, they support and encourage each other in beautiful ways.  Psychological integration approaches that do not utilize or honor our spiritual nature are limited in how "deep" of a healing process they facilitate.  Traditional talk therapy, for instance, can help us to better understand the narrative of our life on a cognitive level. But it is the somatic techniques that help us to uncover unconscious material that lives within our body, connect this somatic experience with our cognitive understanding, and ultimately work with this material directly. With a somatic approach, we are more likely to address or resolve our psychological injuries at their root.  However, most somatic techniques do not include the spiritual dimension of our being in their approach to healing. We benefit all the more from somatic healing techniques when we are working with them from a place of profound resource and support.  That is, supported by the Ground of being.  This Ground, which we call fundamental consciousness in the Realization Process, is our greatest resource in working with trauma.  When our psychological healing efforts incorporate somatic/embodiment work as well as this spiritual dimension of our being, we find ourselves on a path of true transformation and integration.       

In a similar vein, spiritual practice that denies or ignores our need for psychological healing is also limited.  It is limited in its capacity to help us move towards a truly integrated life, one in which we live in greater and greater embrace of our shadow (the unconscious material of our psyche that we repress, deny or ignore).  It is also limited in its ability to effectively address the nuances and depth of our psychological injury (our trauma).  These injuries -- these patterns of defense -- unconsciously dictate many of our patterns of thought, emotion and behavior.  It is very possible to become quite open spiritually (expanded in awareness and with access to potent spiritual energy) and yet be psychologically undeveloped in many ways.  That is, unconsciously driven by psychological material that lurks in our shadow.  Healing and maturing psychologically not only helps us to become more integrated (less driven by unconscious patterning and with a wider, conscious embrace of our multitude parts), it also helps to deepen our spiritual practice.  The less material that is "in the way" psychologically, the more clearly and deeply we are able to attune to fundamental (unitive) consciousness and experience it pervading our body, heart and mind.  And the more this develops, the more access we have to our authentic humanness. 

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