Spirituality has arisen as a major item on the agenda of the therapy and healing professions not because university professors have had conversion experiences, but because suffering clients want to bring this important but often vaguely defined concept into the therapeutic situation. Today we can speak of a client-led or grassroots recovery of the spiritual, and it has taken many people by surprise. Up until recently, ‘spirituality’ was frowned upon, especially in Australia, as an activity linked more to mental illness and delusional thinking, than to health and recovery. But some forms of spirituality, at least, can be said to be positive and life-enhancing, often playing a major role in the experience of healing and wholeness. What is spirituality, and why does it have therapeutic or healing effects in clinical contexts?
Complexity theory is recognised as the New Science that conceptualises the universe as a system of communicating systems. As such, everything in the universe is better understood by exploring the dynamic, nonlinear relationships between the parts that make up the whole. Psychoanalytic Complexity Theory provides a new, but familiar contribution to contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice.
“Reliance on God” is one of the spiritual virtues and a major stage in the ascension toward God’s proximity. Its practice is highly recommended for believers (Kor.26:217). Prophet Mohammad is told: “Put your trust in God, He suffices as a guardian” (33:3). Allah also mentions that true believers put their trust in their Lord (Kor. 8:2). God calls Himself dependable, trustworthy, and manifests Himself throughout the Koran accordingly.
The area of spirituality and health is developing as an academic field of enquiry, and this new perspective is beginning to be incorporated into training programs for medical doctors and health practitioners. A cloud of suspicion hovers over the issue of ‘spirituality’ in the health and therapy professions. Part of the problem arises from the fact that a lot of activities go on under the umbrella term spirituality, and some of these warrant a critical eye. However, as an offspring of the Intellectual Enlightenment, medicine itself has had a materialist bias toward human nature, and until recently has merely bracketed out the spiritual aspects of health and healing.