Spiritual Counseling Article on Spiritual Spot at Home

A sense of peace is important for any home.  Spirituality in the home is also key to a peaceful place.  Finding and creating a spiritual place can be as simple as reconnecting with nature with various plants, or peaceful lighting, but can also involve a sanctum.  You can create a room dedicated to God with icons, statues, or other religious artifacts according to your faith.   You can also just keep it simple with a place to prayer with various religious books, including the Bible.

Find a place to pray and become at peace with God and spirituality. Please also review our Spiritual Counseling certification
Find a place to pray and become at peace with God and spirituality. Please also review our Spiritual Counseling certification

The article, “Influencers And Entrepreneurs Share How To Establish A Spiritual Space In Your Home” by Amanda Lauren lists way business individuals utilize spirituality in their life and find a spot in their home for spiritual thought.  The article states,

Connecting to your highest self feels good, it also has other benefits. Meditation and mindfulness for example can boost your business.Those who have integrated spirituality into their daily routines often practice at homes in spaces they have established for this purpose. Design ultimately takes on a greater meaning beyond aesthetics in these rooms.

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Spiritual Counseling Certification Article on Cultivating Faith

Good article on how Christians can grow their faith.   Faith is important in anyone’s life and nurturing in is critical element in spiritual life. Please also review our Spiritual Counseling Certification by clicking here

The article, 5 Ways Christians Can Grow Their Faith, by Frank Viola states,

“In an increasingly unsettled world, it’s important to find anchors in life to help us weather any challenges and times of emotional turmoil. It’s in times of great difficulty that many turn to their faith for extra guidance. Spending more time in the presence of God, or simply communicating with God, can reveal meaning and light in even the darkest of circumstances.”

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Spiritual Counseling Training Program Article on the Mind and Spirituality

Interesting analysis of the mind and how spirituality itself affects the mind.   We know our mindset has an affect on our body, so does spirituality and the mind which reflects the soul is able to exhibit certain qualities when one is in the “flow’ so to speak as the article calls it.

The article, The Science Of Spirituality: A Psychologist And A Neuroscientist Explain Being ‘In The Flow’, by Alice Walton states

“Spirituality has been making an interesting comeback in recent years, or perhaps an entrée into the mainstream, with a new generation of young gurus and “spirit junkies” making it hip to be spiritual. Many of the lessons draw from religious tradition, yogic philosophy and meditation, and the idea of a greater, or universal, consciousness.”

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Grief Counseling Topics: Near Death Experiences (NDE)

Grief Counseling: An Indepth Overview of Near-Death Experiences (NDE)

With the advent of New Age, spiritual awakening has become the societal norm, with more and more cultures embracing the concept of alternative consciousness, in a bid to attain enlightenment and personal growth. One common spiritual phenomena reported widely since the last few decades is near death experience (NDE).

 

What Exactly Is a NDE?

A near death experience, abbreviated as NDE is a transcendental experience unique to an individual, which typically takes place just after a near brush with death. In a near-death episode, the person is either in coma( clinically dead), or feeling threatened in a situation where death is quite likely. These circumstances may include a serious injury from a car accident, bullet shock, childbirth, murder/rape, or suicide attempt. During NDE, the individual experiences feelings of detachment from physical self, levitation, and encounter with spiritual, otherworldly entities. People in trance states or in abject grief have often reported experiences similar to NDEs, even though they were not near death.

 

Two Types of NDE

Any near-death experiencer commonly reports either of the two types of experiences. One is pleasurable, and the other is distressing. Pleasurable NDE involves feelings of bliss, joy, fulfillment and spiritual awareness. On the other hand, distressing NDE brings feelings of terror, isolation, confusion, guilt and horror. This type is experienced by a smaller group of NDErs. Regardless of their actual type, NDErs almost always report that the experience was even more realistic and vivid than earthly events.

 

The Four Stages of Pleasurable Near-Death Experience

The pleasurable type of NDE is characterized by four phases that occur in a precise order for each and every individual who report this phenomenon. That being said, it’s important to note each NDE is different. It can include a random combination of phases and the phases may occur in any order. Sometimes, people report having experienced overlapping phases that seem to occur simultaneously.

 

Here is a discussion of four common phases observed in an NDE:

1.) Detached phase: This is the first phase, wherein the individual experiences dissociation from their physical body. During this time, they leave the earth realm to transcend into the third dimension. They report feeling light, detached and devoid of the five senses that dominate physical existence. They sometimes describe an unbelievable sense of freedom from guilt, pain, misery and of total well-being.

 

2.) Naturalistic phase: In this phase, people report being gradually aware of their surroundings. They get a better understanding of the surrounding reality and also report looking down on their bodies. They see and hear things just like they do in their physical self, but the only difference is that the perceptions are unusually clear and realistic. They often say they acquired superhuman powers, such as being able to walk through walls, float around, see through people and even understand the unspoken thoughts of people nearby.

 

3.) Supernatural phase: In this phase, people report passing into a tunnel and meeting entities and being in environments that are not common to the physical reality. They often meet deceased loved ones, spirit guides or non-physical beings like helpers. Communication at this stage is at the mental level and there are no discernible physical features in the entities they meet, yet they seem to recognize them easily.

 

Following this loving encounter, people are apparently drawn to a beautiful, bright light that is difficult to describe. It is all-encompassing, unconditionally loving, welcoming and yet not overpowering to the eyes. It pulls the person like a gentle magnet and makes them feel drenched in the zenith of bliss. People then try to enter the light, only to be stopped by a powerful ‘being’ who warns them from crossing the light and coaxes them to return back to their physical bodies. At this moment, many people describe experiencing a life review, wherein they see themselves for who they are, and realize their flaws, talents and the mistakes they have made in life so far.

Sometimes, they also get access to divine knowledge and profound mysteries of the Universe. Many people come back with future predictions that eventually turn out to be true! The best thing about the life review is that it is presented to the person in the form of miniature motion pictures that allow them to observe everything from a detached perspective, so that the feelings of sorrow, regret, guilt and misery are all toned down to a negligible extent. If anything, people feel uplifted and energized.

 

4.) Return: As the name suggests, the individual returns to their physical self. Some NDErs report arguing their return with The Light; they refuse to continue with their life on the physical realm and wish to stay around in the peaceful glow of the third-dimension. However, they are jolted back to their bodies whether or not they choose to return. When they do want to return, it’s usually because of a connection with living people, or a heightened desire to mend persistent issues.

 

Characteristics of Distressing NDE

The following are some common features of a distressing NDE:

  • People report feeling powerless and non-existent. They feel as though as they are trapped in an eternal void with no one around.
  • Sometimes, they experience being amid evil, demon beings, frightening, otherworldly creatures and scary noises. Often, they report being transported to hideous landscapes, which is a stark contrast from the beautiful, welcoming environment described in a pleasurable NDE.
  • Few people have described feeling worthless and guilty during the life review stage. They feel negatively judged and insulted by the Higher Power.
  • In rare cases of distressing NDE, people report having given up fighting or escaping the harsh circumstances of the other reality and asking for help from the Higher Power. When they do so, their experience immediately morphs into a pleasurable NDE.
  • Then again, few NDErs have stated that their pleasurable experiences transformed into distressing ones.

 

How common are Near Death Experiences?

Thanks to medical advances, NDEs have been reported much more frequently in the last few decades. As public acceptance has increased, more and more people are willing to narrate their experiences. Depending on how rigidly NDE is described, studies have indicated that around 12-40% of people who have a close encounter with death later report having had an NDE.

Up to 200,000 Americans have claimed to have an NDE. According to a 2011 survey of 2000 people in Germany, around 4% had experienced an NDE. The 1992 Gallup poll by NDERF has stated that up to 774 individuals experience NDE in the United States alone. Reference link here.

Another 1982 Gallup poll revealed that among the 15% of Americans who reported an NDE, around 9% people had the typical out-of-body experience, 8% encountered spiritual entities, 11% said they entered a different dimension, and only 1% had disturbing experiences. These findings subsequently became published in “Adventures in Immortality” by the pollsters William Proctor and George Gallup Jr.

The possibility of having an NDE is independent of the person’s religion practice, economic background, life history, health status, sexuality and gender. Basically, it is an equal-opportunity phenomenon and it’s impossible to predict who will or won’t experience it, or whose NDE will be distressing or pleasurable.

 

How do near death experiences affect patients ?

Approximately 80% of NDErs claimed that their lives have been forever changed by what they experienced. In addition to returning with a profound spiritual outlook, as well as a renewed zest for life, people started observing psychological and physiological phenomena on a deeper scale. And this was true for teenagers, adults and child experiencers alike.
One common myth associated with NDE is that the experiencer has a heightened fear of death after the phenomenon. In fact, the result is just the opposite. NDErs lead a better quality of life, which is characterized by:

  • An improved ability to fight present circumstances and have a better understanding of why things happen the way they do.
  • A strengthened sense of self-confidence that arises from knowing one’s flaws and virtues. This feeling of true security provides bliss to the mind even in the face of utter chaos.
  • A lowered fascination for material possessions, as the person finally realizes that true happiness doesn’t lie in accumulating a certain percentage every month, chugging drinks at the local bar or buying a bigger house.
  • A higher than usual compassion, which extends to every being. NDErs have a deep-rooted gratitude for the little joys in life, and tend to forgive everything, as they finally understand the futility of chasing material comforts.
  • An unusual love for solitude and silence, as people don’t need to rely on false objects of security to quieten their inner feeling of guilt or misery.
  • Most importantly, people adopt a spiritual approach to life, as they know and believe that the spiritual realm is real and the material realm is a farce. This knowledge gives them a fresh perspective for all things in life, and they find it easier to cope up with daily hassles.

 

Has Medical Science Been Able to Explain Near Death Experiences?

According to 2011 study undertaken by Watt and Mobes at the University of Edinburgh, reference link here.

near death experience is not a spiritual phenomenon, rather it is a physiological process that can be biologically explained. For example, the typical feeling of floating during NDE arises from the trauma of having had a close encounter with death. This has been linked with brain regions like parietal cortex and prefrontal cortex, the latter being involved in delusional beliefs observed in schizophrenia. Although the exact reason behind the feeling remains unknown, one probable explanation is that the person is trying to come to terms with the trauma of death.

A variety of theories have been put forward by medical researchers to explain the argument of meeting deceased loved ones during NDE. Parkinson’s patients often hallucinate as a result of abnormal release of dopamine. In the same way, NDErs also undergo an abnormal release of another neurotransmitter, noradrenaline, which is mostly produced during trauma, and evokes the feeling of reliving moments from the present life, as well as auditory/visual hallucinations.

In 2003, The BBC reported a study by Dr. Sam Parnia at the University of Southampton which suggested the survival of consciousness even after clinical death (coma). This could be perceived as evidence of life after death.

A 2010 study of patients with a history of cardiac attacks revealed that there might be a link between seeing the gleaming orb of light during NDE and the level of carbon dioxide in blood. 11 out of 52 cardiac patients studied claimed to have an NDE. Researchers concluded that the excess CO2 in blood had a significant impact on vision, which ultimately caused them to perceive the tunnel and the brilliant light.

The most common obstacle to substantial research on NDE lies in analyzing them experimentally. After all, this is one phenomenon that is reported only after it’s over, and there are no real-time evidences to testify the same.

 

Ending Note…

All these scientific explanations raise several questions in our mind. If NDE is merely the outcome of our brain responding to trauma, why do the experiences follow a sequences that ultimately come down to the basic question of spirituality? Why do people report vivid events as if they occurred in precise order, despite being brain dead all the while? Why do they undergo a drastic and perennial transformation after returning back to their conscious state? And most importantly, how can a seemingly trivial, ‘biological phenomenon’ occur with equal probability for everyone, regardless of their medical history, mental health status, and so on?

Interestingly, advocates of near death experience confidently assert that this mystical phenomenon is not a casual by-product of the biological processes of the brain, rather it’s an actual life-changing event that is more realistic and empowering than anything they have ever experienced in the conscious state.

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Spiritual Counseling Program Article on Building Better Habits

Building Self-Discipline Helps Transform Bad Habits

It is not easy to end bad habits and consistently stick to better ones that will help to create a healthy life, especially if one struggles with a lack of self-discipline. However, there are some great tips available that can make the process go a bit more smoothly. What steps can one take to ensure that bad habits that are causing issues with one’s health are banished for good?

 Self-discipline is key to eliminating unhealthy habits

Some people seem to naturally have loads of self-discipline, never struggling to make healthy changes. However, as Forbes notes, this is a trait that is a learned behavior and there are some solid tips available for improving one’s self-discipline in order to banish problematic patterns. Improving self-discipline requires thoughtful decisions and adjustments that will set the stage for success, and making these changes can pave the way to ditch bad habits and form good ones.

Eliminate bad habits and replacing them with good ones does not happen overnight, and experts recommend that it is important to allow for mistakes. Sometimes the approach of making changes gradually and setting up mini-goals and rewards for hitting those goals can set the stage for long-term success. Slip-ups or mistakes are likely to happen at some point along the way, and setting aside feelings of frustration or guilt in order to focus on resetting and moving forward can be a valuable approach to creating lasting, positive habits and increased self-discipline.

Set the stage for success and healthier habits will follow

Another key tip for ditching bad habits is to get rid of temptations. If one is working on losing weight or eating healthier, it helps to clear out the junk food at home and focus on ways to avoid troublesome choices or bad habits while on the go. Some people can rely solely on self-discipline in avoiding the unhealthy temptations around them, but clearing out as much as possible can go a long way toward achieving success.

Huffington Post reinforces the fact that changing one’s environment can be key to building self-discipline and ending bad habits. A refrigerator full of fruits and vegetables rather than sugary treats or setting up a routine that naturally includes exercise rather than sedentary television viewing makes it easier to build good habits and strengthens one’s self-discipline by ensuring success.

Reflection and action together generate lasting results

As Inner Genius details, bad habits are often formed in order to combat stress, exhaustion, boredom, or something uncomfortable, and it is not uncommon for these bad habits to start out small and grow over time. Self-discipline alone may not be enough to do away with these ongoing challenges. However, it certainly becomes a key component to making lasting changes. The more that one can reflect on the reasons behind the bad habits and look to ways to eliminate their causes, the easier it will be to move forward with healthier choices.

People cannot necessarily wake up one day and eliminate all of their bad habits by utilizing self-discipline, but making a real commitment to change and focusing on one small step at a time can lead to success. Deciding to do the hard work of eliminating the obstacles creating challenges and prioritizing what actions will provide the best opportunity to create a healthier life will pave the way for lasting change.

Many people do well with setting up small goals and rewards to provide encouragement along the way and others find it key to clear out anything related to their bad habits that holds them back. Oftentimes the more that one focuses on positive change the stronger one’s self-discipline will become and the easier it will be to permanently ditch bad habits that are causing issues in one’s health.

 

By Henry Moore

 

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SPIRITUAL COUNSELING CERTIFICATION AND EMPATHY ARTICLE

A good article about spiritual empathy and moving beyond our own pains and worries and encompassing others.

The article, “‘Spiritual Empathy.’ Empathy As A Way of Life… Empathy As A Way Of Being…”, by Jenny Florence states,

“True empathy is a state of being. When we live empathically we can relate with our full experience of life at a level of mindful and conscious awareness. Awareness of ourselves, awareness of others, and awareness of a greater universal intelligence of which we are an integral and dynamic part.”

To read this article, please click here

If you are interested in learning more also about the Spiritual Counseling Program at AIHCP, then please review our program.  The program consists of independent study courses that lead to certification in Spiritual Counseling for qualified professionals.  If you would like to see this program matches your academic and professional needs, then please review it here at Spiritual Counseling Certification

In the meantime, please review our site and our various programs for certification to learn more about AIHCP and the many opportunities for working professionals.

What Spiritual Directors need to know about Psychology

courses in the spiritual counseling program
If you are interested in becoming a spiritual counselor then please review the courses in the spiritual counseling program

If you are interested in becoming a spiritual counselor then please review the courses in the spiritual counseling program

American Institute Health Care Professionals’ insight:

Spiritual counselors need to understand more than just their particular spirituality but also need some knowledge in psychology.  Without it, things that are clearly physical can be seen as metaphysical.

Spiritual directors or counselors can help their clients a lot just with basic psychological information about a variety of things ranging from grief to pathologies.  Of course, with this knowledge in psychology, they know when to refer a client to a clinical psychologist or licensed professional.

Spiritual counseling is not a licensed position but a certified one.  This means the state does not regulate it.  This does not mean anyone should just counsel.  Having a knowledge base in psychology is important and critical.

If you are interested in learning more about spiritual counseling, then please review the program.  After taking the core courses in the spiritual counseling program, qualified professionals are eligible for certification.  After three years, the certification is renewed.

In the meantime, enjoy the blog and articles and if you have any questions, please let us know

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Spiritual Counseling: Sexuality and Spiriutality

Sexuality, spirituality and spiritual counseling
Sexuality, spirituality and spiritual counseling

The article, “Spiritual woman and sex”, by Madhupnath Jha states

“Is it sexy to be spiritual? New research has found that spirituality has a greater effect on the sex..”

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:
Apart from Western Theism, many religions have a strong connection with sexuality and spirituality outside of marriage.  This is especially the case with women and how they see the unative value of sex in correlation with spirituality.  If you want to learn more about spiritual counseling, then please review the program.
#coursesinspiritualcounseling

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How To Practice Spiritual Counseling

Spiritual Counseling
Spiritual Counseling

The article, “Spiritual Nutrition for the Heart”, by Robin Hoffman states

“There are so many articles written every single day about health and nutrition. There is this diet and that diet and one philosophy after another about what to eat and when to eat it and how far apart to space meals and good fats and bad fats — and the list goes on.”

American Institute Health Care Professionals’ insight:
This article brings up a good point, everyone is so quick to write an article about what is good for our physical beings that they often forget about our spiritual side.   If you need some spiritual advice then please check it out.   Also if you want to learn more about spiritual counseling then you might want to visit our site.

See on www.huffingtonpost.com

Spirituality and Organized Religion

Spirituality as Individualistic

When one reviews the nature of spirituality, many reflect on the personal and individualistic nature of it.  One mentally sees a cloistered nun, or a desert monk praying alone.  Or one considers a guru praying in a temple meditating upon theological ideals.
Spirituality is the personal aspect of religion.  It can and does exist apart from organized religion which represents a more social nature of religion.  Hence it is possible for someone to be very

However, I would conclude that by the very nature of humanity, there is a social need that binds people together.  This is where one’s spirituality flows into the community and shares itself for the betterment of others.
In this way organized religion binds people together while spirituality individually feeds the soul.  A person who only goes to church every Sunday but has no prayer life is barren while a person who spiritually nourishes his soul but never shares his inner light misses the entire point of human charity.
From this conclusion, I would contend a private spiritual life is essential as well as a spiritual social life.  Does organized religion provide that outlet for spirituality?  To some it would, while others may simply contend, various acts of charity and interaction with the community would suffice.
Some religions find less need and emphasis for social gathering and binding dogmatic creeds, while other religions find social interconnection and universal dogmatic agreement to be essential.
In the end, what form of spirituality do you embrace and how do you share it with the world?
If you are interested in Spiritual Counseling Certification, please review the program.

Mark Moran, MA, GC-C. SCC-C