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  • Writer's pictureThomas Norris

The Holistic Spiritual Counseling Archway

Updated: Jan 22


Holistic Spiritual Counseling Archway

Counselors and clients often ask me, “How important is education and training to your work? Or, “How much of a role does Spirit play in your work?” Or, “How significant is experience in guiding your work?” The answer is pretty obvious. All three are essential to Holistic Spiritual Counseling, but one may carry more weight than another, depending on the counselor. A particularly bookish and intellectual counselor may consider education, training, and ongoing reading as their most important piece. A highly spiritual and spiritually connected counselor may feel Spirit and intuition primarily guide them. The other two elements are simply the icing on the cake. Finally, a highly experienced counselor may find that experience has been their best teacher and skill builder.


The metaphor I have chosen to represent these three elements is the arch. An archway has two sides that will not stand without a critical piece, the keystone. The keystone is generally a wedge-shaped stone placed at the apex of an arch. It is the final piece placed during construction and locks all the stones into position, allowing the arch or vault to bear weight.


What the three elements of Holistic Spiritual Counseling Arch represent:


  • I call the left side “The Training.” This side bears the weight of our graduate education, our certifications, our continuing education, and our ongoing reading in the field. Our teachers share their immense heritage of learning and experience. The books we read, the papers we research and write, the collaborations in learning with brother and sister students, the lectures we attend, and the discussions we participate in all add to our skills and knowledge to carry out this powerful work.

  • I designate the right side “The Self” or “The Experience.” For me, this sometimes feels like the most weighty piece. I know that is not true, and without the keystone, it could not stand by itself. However, when I accumulated enough experience, complex and unusual cases appeared less complex and unusual. I did not realize for some time that they also demonstrated more clarity because of the addition of spiritual intuition and insight, not just experience. Another critical experiential component of my counseling is the judicious sharing of my own experiences. We are never to allow our own issues and egos to get in the way of our client’s needs, but sometimes our personal experiences, traumas, and lessons may be helpful learning tools for a particular client.

  • The Keystone is what I designate “The Other.” It is the piece that holds everything together and connects both sides of the arch. It represents Spirit. Many times in spiritual counseling, as I listen to what comes out of my mouth, I wish I could claim to be so brilliant. However, I know that whatever is flowing through me at that moment is, at the very least, a collaboration with the divine and sometimes a pure channel from Spirit. Actually, this is how I received the archway metaphor today during a counseling session. This archway keystone also includes any spiritually related skills, such as Reiki healing, Akashic Record, Tarot, or Astrology Reading, sound healing, medical intuition, shamanic journeying, hypnosis, guided meditation, and so on.


So, as you step into your career and work as a spiritual counselor, make sure you have shored up all three elements of your arch. In this way, you form a skilled, experienced, spiritually guided archway, an entryway for your client’s personal and spiritual growth and healing.


Blessings,

Tom

Rev. Dr. Tom Norris

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