A word about faith, religion, and spirituality
My practice can best be described as "faith-friendly, not faith-based." According to the venerable Hettler Wellness model, spiritual wellness is an essential part of overall wellness. Spirituality is individual, personal, and vertical as opposed to religion which is more shared, community oriented, and horizontal. Religion is the behavioral expression of the spiritual. It is what you do as a result of what you believe. ACT Therapy asserts that emotional health requires clarity and connection with our own values in order to guide our behavior towards doing "the next right thing." Our values come from our connection to something bigger than ourselves that gives life meaning and purpose.
In my practice, values and spirituality come into play on a regular basis. My role is to act as a guide on the journey, not to determine the destination. I help parents and teens identify their values and then work to live consistently with them. Conflicts between behavior and values tend to have a negative effect on self-respect and self-esteem. Sometimes, the values of the parents and children are similar, sometimes they overlap, and sometimes they are quite different. In social/relational health, we work to develop confidence in our own values while respecting the values of others.
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