From the time I was 14-years-old, I had an interest in psychology. My mother was an aetheist and psychology seemed to be her religion, so I embraced it as mine as well. After many years of therapy, having tried several different psychotherapists and their modalities, and benefitting from them all, I had a spiritual awakening.

At the time, I didn’t know what had happened. I just knew that something was missing–a big, chronic hunk of emotional pain and anxiety had broken off of me, like an iceberg floating away and melting as it went.

Later, I came to understand that spiritual psychotherapy is an undoing process. It helps to unwind us mentally. It releases us from fear and reveals our true non-dualistic nature–that we are Absolute Unified Eternal Love. My primary spiritual path, A Course in Miracles (ACIM), teaches that the only illness is mental illness. ACIM offers a “mind training” that un-brainwashes us from the ego belief that we are separate individuals.

Spiritual psychotherapy is a brilliant evolution (or we might say, simplification) of traditional psychotherapy. It shows us how to bring our darkness to the Light, how to follow Guidance in the same way Jesus did, and helps us realize that we are having a case of “mistaken identity,” to coin Alan Watts’ apt phrase.

A Course in Miracles is a contemporary path of spiritual psychotherapy (see my article, “What Is A Course in Miracles?”). One of its supplemental pamphlets is called, "Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice." In this pamphlet we are told, "A therapist does not heal; he lets healing be. He can point to darkness but he cannot bring light of himself, for light is not of him. Yet, being for him, it must also be for his patient. The Holy Spirit is the only Therapist. He makes healing clear in any situation in which He is the Guide. You can only let Him fulfill His function. He needs no help for this. He will tell you exactly what to do to help anyone He sends to you for help, and will speak to him through you if you do not interfere."

Freud defined the ego in a way that was completely secular. This left us locked within the ego thought system. Jesus, the author of A Course in Miracles, corrects this limited definition, and explains that the ego is just an idea that we could separate from God. It is an idea we thought up and we choose to believe, even though it is not true. We then buried this thought and forgot we ever had it–which resulted in the unconscious mind.

While traditional psychotherapy, in the hands of a heart-centered, well-trained, and ethical practitioner, is almost always valuable, it only goes so far. Conventional psychotherapy aims to improve our performance in the world. It supports us in becoming well-adjusted, functional people.

Spiritual psychotherapy helps us use psychological insight to awaken our Spiritual Consciousness in order to reconnect with our sense of Oneness, and realize that while we seem to be in the world, we are not 'of it.' The thing is, spiritual psychotherapy won’t make a dent until we’re ready. And we don’t always know when we’re ready to radically change our point of view about our very identity.

In fact, before we’re ready to shift our sense of identity, we need to build up a personal sense of self. Paradoxically, this strengthening of the ego-self satisfies a need to be “me.” When we’re finished with being “me,” we’re ready for spiritual psychotherapy–a true doorway into “We.”

We live in a dysfunctional world, clearly evidenced by the level of ongoing violence, towards each other and the planet. When we are consumed with survival needs, we are not able to meet the deepest emotional and spiritual needs we all have--to Love and be Loved.

We fight with each other out of a sense of scarcity, competition and desperation. We try to avoid the deep feelings of shame that we all carry by blaming others, self-medicating with liquor, drugs, comfort food, cigarettes--the list goes on and on. We act out sexually, go on shopping sprees, gamble, or lose ourselves in other distractions which help us temporarily forget our pain, anger and guilty feelings.

Choosing spiritual psychotherapy can provide an avenue back to Reality--Love Itself. If you’re willing to make this choice, simply ask Spirit to guide you. Your spiritual psychotherapy path might be working with a human psychotherapist who incorporates Love into the practice; it might be using the self-study system A Course in Miracles provides; it might involve some body-oriented therapies, emotional intelligence and communication skills.

Open your heart to Higher Help and Help is on the way. The form will be customized to your needs. The timing will be perfect for you. And the essence will always be Love. This is the only answer we need to solve all of our worldly problems.

© 2009 Amy Torres
All rights reserved worldwide

Author's Bio: 

Amy Torres is a Gestalt psychotherapist, interfaith minister, and yoga instructor. She teaches A Course in Miracles, which is the foundation of all her work. She has developed the Language of Love, Harmony & Beauty©, a form of emotionally responsible communication, conflict negotiation, and a way of "undoing" our identification with the ego. To see Amy's videos, sign up for her free newsletter, and receive a free gift, visit