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Mental Health, Culture, and Spirituality

Author:

Jakayla obtained her MSW degree from the University of Central Florida.

Introduction

What you about to say?

My intent is to offer perspective to anyone from a comprehensive understanding of relating to or aiding people. I do this from a combined practice of mental health, culture and spirituality.

There will be points that are directly applied to a practicing therapist working with clients. If you are able to find truth for your personal life in that information that is great, and I want this for you. But if you think “I don’t understand this” spend no time questioning it, just continue reading.

A little of my personal mental health, culture and spirituality is sprinkled throughout the text. A little insight from other writers, teachers, supervisors, professors, family and friends is also sprinkled throughout the text.

mental-health-culture-and-spirituality

Start Here

In one sense, I know exactly who you are. I know that you are human and that you hurt sometimes and that other times you have joy. And from the same source of awareness, I know that I do not know anything about you. I do not know who you are. Let’s start there, will you educate me? I want to know about you, this is important to me.

Pause for a moment, and take a deep breath... if you were able to do that just now, you are supposed to be alive, know this and keep it that way. Notice, I did not ask you anything about your mental health, culture or spirituality before I asked you to breathe. That is because those details are not a requirement of having life. Just the breath gifted to our body is. Know that we are worth a life before anything.

I found that setting this pace with clients first is beneficial. Setting this pace with myself before a session was also helpful.

“Believe life is worth living and your belief will create that fact”

— William James

Practice Understanding

An important part of assessing and treating our clients, or just communicating to understand other people in general, is we are to meet every person where they are in each area that we communicate with them. We can not assume others are existing from the same perspective that we are. In fact, we should assume that they are not.

It is important that we practice not imposing our personal bias when speaking with our clients. Now when I say this, I understand this is much easier said than done. We will do our best and if we notice this happening, practice considering the client more.

mental-health-culture-and-spirituality

Communication

Understanding this, we should not be upset that others are not existing from the same perspective that we are. They are themselves and you are yourself. Instead we meet them at the point of communication. Not staying stuck in our own mind but bringing a piece of our mind (information) with us, hoping it can be of assistance to them. We meet them where they are.

I have understood and some clinicians believe, that there is an intersectional relationship between mental health, culture, and spirituality in the lives of individuals across the world. If we allow clients to educate us on their lives we create an atmosphere of genuineness and trust. Establishing this in the therapeutic relationship will set the foundation for an accurate and effective treatment strategy.

References:

Ruiz, D.M. (1997). The Four Agreements: Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc.

© 2020 Jakayla