Spiritual Psychology Careers
What Is Spiritual Psychology?
Spirituality and religion are often very important parts of any culture. Houses of worship can be found in nearly every town and city in the world, and many people attend services regularly. Faith and religion even helps some people going during rough times in their lives. The simple fact is that spirituality has a huge impact on people's thoughts and behaviors.
Spiritual Psychology is a blend of spirituality and science. It uses elements of both traditional psychology and spirituality in order to help individuals feel better and more content with their lives.
Professionals in the field of spiritual psychology understand that the body, mind, and the spirit all work together, therefore, they must be studied together. Each of these elements must be healthy and "in shape" to achieve optimal harmony. This sometimes involves treating a fractured spirit, which is frequently a piece of the human puzzle that is ignored. In a way, spiritual psychology focuses on repairing fractured souls or replacing missing pieces of the soul.
Spiritual psychology has been around in some form for centuries. Catholic confession, for example, is a way for believers to acknowledge their sins and be forgiven for them, which often makes them feel better. Spiritual counseling has also been available to everyone who needs it for century.
Despite its popularity, spiritual psychology is still not recognized by the American Psychological Association. It does, however, have a division for the psychology of religion and spirituality, which is more focused on understanding the impact that these elements have on a person.
Why Do We Need Spiritual Psychology?
For many, a spiritual crisis can be a very upsetting event. It will usually have an impact on every part of a person's life, from their homes to their workplaces. Many people experiencing such a crisis will often feel stuck and confused, with nowhere to turn.
Spiritual psychology and spiritual counseling enables patients to better understand their own beliefs and work through that confusion. Spiritual psychologists can help individuals by allowing them to explore their spiritual side and work toward repairing any shattered pieces of their souls. These professionals can usually help people feeling despondent and dejected with a number of problems that can't usually be fixed with traditional psychological methods.
What are the Education Requirements for a Spiritual Psychology Career?
|School Programs||Average Education Length||Choosing Online or Campus|
|1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree||View Programs||4 Years||Online or Campus|
|2. Earn A Master's Degree||View Programs||2 Additional Years||Online or Campus|
|3. Earn a PHD or PsyD||View Programs||2-4 Additional Years||Online or Campus|
Aspiring spiritual psychologists should have an education that is a mixture of traditional psychology and spirituality, or religion.
A spiritual psychology career typically starts with a bachelor's degree in general psychology. This usually involves taking a number of psychology courses, including courses in developmental psychology, transpersonal psychology, clinical psychology, creative consciousness, and counseling psychology. Students interested in a spiritual psychology careers should also take classes in theology and religion, particularly eastern religions.
The majority of spiritual psychologists also hold advanced degrees, such as master's degrees and doctorates. If possible, an advanced degree specifically in spiritual psychology is best. Advanced degrees in counseling psychology with a concentration in spirituality are also sufficient.
Find psychology programs in your area using our Find a School page.
What Does a Spiritual Psychologist Do?
The main duty of a spiritual psychologist is to counsel people and help them to achieve spiritual wellbeing as well as mental and emotional wellbeing.
Many of the patients who seek help from a spiritual psychologist are going through spiritual crises. They need a comfortable atmosphere and a non-judgmental ear to listen to their problems and help guide them through the dark times in their lives. A spiritual psychologist can help his patients explore their spiritual paths in life.
He may encourage them to closely examine their own beliefs as well as alternative beliefs. A spiritual psychologist will also usually guide his patients with such things as meditation and altered states of consciousness. These actions can help patients become centered and will often lead to realization of and a better understanding of their own beliefs. Guided visualization is another popular technique used by spiritual psychologists. This involves a patient entering a state of altered consciousness while the psychologist speaks in a calm and even voice, urging them to explore a fictitious world that is representative of their sub-conscious mind.
In many ways, spiritual psychologists are also similar to counseling psychologists. These professionals listen to their patients' problems and help them work through them. They offer advice on how to better communicate, and calm and center themselves. See also: transpersonal psychologists.
Where Do Spiritual Psychologists Work?
Spiritual psychologists can often secure employment in a number of different places, such as churches, mental health facilities, and rehabilitation clinics. Spiritual psychologists can also choose to open their own practices. They might operate as spiritual psychologists or similar professionals, such as life coaches or personal growth counselors.
What is the Median Salary for Spiritual Psychologists?
Because spiritual psychology is, in many ways, an untraditional career choice, it is difficult to find median salary information for this profession. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not record any salary data specifically for these types of psychologists. It does, however, record salary data for similar professions, like counselors (categorized by the BLS as counselors, all other) who, as of May 2019, earned a median salary of $42,930.
Average salaries for counselors according to setting during this time included:
- State government: $44,800
- Religious organizations: $74,740
- Residential mental health and substance abuse facilities: $45,140
Employment Outlook & Career Guidance for Spiritual Psychologists
Psychology is a flourishing career all across the US. It’s projected to grow at least 11% through the year 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Spiritual psychology is a fairly new field in comparison with the other branches of psychology, but it is a fast-growing branch and offers a lot of opportunity for young professionals. Spiritual Psychology, also often called Transpersonal Psychology, is the study of human consciousness and how it relates to human behavior.
What Types of Positions Can Spiritual Psychologists Hold?
There are a lot of different hats a spiritual psychologist can wear, from researcher to counselor. These professionals can work in hospitals and other healthcare settings, schools and research facilities, and in private practice. A wide array of positions within the workforce is available to these professionals, including but not limited to:
- Crisis Counseling
- Life Coaching
- Research Positions
- Teaching Positions
- Grief and Family Counseling
The specific position a spiritual psychologist may hold can depend upon the type of training they have.
“It’s my belief that more and more businesses are looking for new and alternative methods for reducing absenteeism and staff, motivating employees and developing successful businesses in a rapidly changing and uncertain world. We are witnessing epidemic proportions of people feeling afflicted with chronic health problems such as depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue and pain conditions and stomach and bowel complaints and equal numbers of people feeling lost, stuck, overwhelmed, stressed and unfulfilled. It’s my belief that there is a growing need to take the ideas of spiritual psychology and apply them in therapeutic and work place environments in order to address the growing number of complaints and health problems people are facing.”
– Independent Psychologist, Kyle Davies
Spiritual Psychologists Can Also Find Employment Within
- Corporate or Business Setting – More and more businesses are making these professionals available to their employees to provide emotional and spiritual support.
- Private Practice – These professionals, like most other psychologists, often open private practices to provide counsel and treatment to patients on a regular basis.
- Rehabilitation Facilities – Spiritual psychologists often work with individuals who are overcoming some sort of spiritual or emotional issue, or those who are attempting to gain more fulfillment in their lives.
Ways for Spiritual Psychologists to Increase Desirability as a Job Candidate
Although the precise needs of an employer will differ from one employer to the next, there are some general ways in which spiritual psychologists can increase their value in the eyes of potential bosses. Typically, those who take their education level to the highest level are considered more valuable; more and more schools are recognizing the need for spiritual psychology programs and are implementing them. Attributes that will increase the value of a spiritual psychologist in the eyes of employers include:
- Possessing active listening and communication skills.
- Displaying an excellent attention to detail and organizational skills.
- Being an active member of psychological associations such as the APA.
- Having contributed to academic writing or research and being published in this aspect.
- Displaying excellent problem-solving skills.
Ways for a Spiritual Psychologist to Increase His or Her Salary
The most important way a spiritual psychologist can increase his or her salary is to obtain additional training or schooling. The position they are most hoping for should guide their educational choices. For instance, those who would like to obtain positions in places of worship may study religion or philosophy in addition to psychology. Spiritual psychologists who desire to become consultants for corporations may want to take a business course. By obtaining specialized education, these professionals can increase their worth and therefore, their potential for higher salaries.
Networking Opportunities and Organizations
There are a few different organizations that benefit spiritual psychologists, including the Society for Psychology of Religion and Spirituality (Division 36 of the APA) and the Spiritual Psychology Association. Attending conferences and seminars is a great way to network with like-minded professionals and learn about available jobs and positions within the industry.
Spiritual Psychology Continuing Education Sources & Resources
The most advantageous continuing education source for psychologists is the American Psychological Association. They offer a variety of CE courses that provide continued education credits and are accredited in all states.