Spirituality is a set of beliefs and practices that are about more than just the material world. It is a belief that there is more to the universe than just purposeless mechanical parts or electrical impulses in the brain, and it’s a deeper human thirst for meaning, peace, mystery and truth (Lemmer, 2010). Spirituality is often expressed through religion but not always.
There is no one answer to what is spirituality – it can mean different things to each person. However, some common themes are a desire for personal growth, connection to nature and a sense of the sacred. There is also a desire to serve others and the world in some way. Spirituality can also help people feel more balanced physically and emotionally.
Having a clearer understanding of what spirituality is can assist us in the work we do as mental health professionals to support our clients’ mental wellness. We can use it as a framework to identify and explore different aspects of spirituality that may be relevant to a client, such as a relationship with a higher power or a sense of the transcendent.
A useful metaphor to expand our understanding of spirituality is the mountain range/journey model. It describes the different ways we can experience spirituality: