Alan Miller is his article,"My Take: I'm spiritual but not religious is a cop-out" argues that America's "feel good", anti-big, anti-discipline, and independent mentality is pushing people away from traditional religious institutions. Instead they are pursuing their own unique spirituality that is a combination of whatever spiritual practices make them feel good about themselves.
Miller believes there is problem with this type of spirituality because there is no explanation or reasoning for their beliefs besides that it makes them feel something positive, which may or may not be connection to a "higher power" of some type. The doctrine, theology, and religious beliefs of traditional religious institutions are needed for individuals to make real and substantive stances on what they believe in their spiritual and religious. His ultimate argument is that to rely on subjective feelings for spiritual beliefs is to abandon human-based reasoning and forgo any substantive stance about spirituality.
How does this relate to Professional Counseling?
Professional counselors must realize the changing landscape of religious and spiritual beliefs of America. The "feel good" and "positive-only" culture sweeping across America has made its way into may Christian churches and homes. Christian professional counselors must take into account that many of their "Christian" clients might not believe in or even know traditional Christian beliefs and doctrine because of the changing religious and spiritual landscape.
For Christian professional counselors working in a religious setting or in an environment that approves the use of religious interventions, they need to assess the religious beliefs and level of commitment of their clients. This will better allow counselors to formulate their interventions and treatment used with their clients. Proper assessment will also allow Christian counselors to know if their client needs more training and understanding of Christian doctrine. Before continuing, I want to further stress the importance of knowing your workplaces' rules regarding the use of religious interventions with clients. Some places might not allow or want you to address spirituality during counseling. Also, Christian counselors must not force their religious beliefs upon their clients.
As a Christian who wants to live life in accordance to traditional Christian beliefs, I must continually assess my life and see how the "feel good" movement is impacting my life. It would be ignorant for me to think that I am immune to its effects.
As a Christian professional counselor in training, I want to be able to help clients have healing in their physical, mental, and spiritual lives. I believe true spiritual health comes through having a relationship with Jesus Christ and through cultivating that relationship with Jesus Christ. Clients that want to grow in their spiritual life, ultimately I want to point clients towards Christ because that is where I believe true healing comes.