Spirituality is a part of a person (yes, a natural part) that searches for transcendent meaning and purpose in life and allows the person to transcend his or her conflict or suffering

Spirituality is a personal relationship between an individual and a transcendent or higher being, force, energy or mind of the Universe.

Spirituality is recognized as a factor that contributes to health in many persons. This concept is found in all cultures and societies. It’s expressed in an individual’s search for ultimate meaning, often through participation in a religion, but it can be much broader than that, such as, belief in a Higher Power, family, naturalism, rationalism, humanism, and the arts.

Spirituality encompasses the individual’s sense of self, sense of mission and purpose in life

Spirituality connotes a direct and personal experience of what each individual considers sacred and it is not mediated by a particular belief system prescribed by dogma or by hierarchical structure

Spirituality is not defined by roles such as priests, ministers, rabbis, gurus, or other defined leaders




Involves a sense of self, mission and purpose.


Unrelated to a specific dogma, belief system or defined roles



Sense of transcendence


Basis of meaning and purpose in life and work


Help give meaning to suffering


Extend individual’s coping resources.



Displays specific behavioral, social, hierarchical, doctrinal characteristics.


Involves a system of worship and doctrine shared by a group


Involves an authority or leader (priest, rabbi, guru, minister, iman)


A person may develop higher levels of spirituality without believing in God or practicing a religion.


  • An uplifting sense of genuine spiritual union with something larger than the self.


  • Social and spiritual affiliation produces a relief in distress symptoms. The relationship serves as a reinforcer for continued affiliation and compliance with group norms


  • Spiritual belief: “God or Higher Power can restore him/her to sanity”AA – Step 2
  • Spiritual principles: Code of conduct or frame for action that moves people toward the realization of values
  • Spiritual values: Qualities or ideals culturally derived, highly regarded by a group or society leading to self-acceptance
  • Spiritual experience: Moment of clarity or a felt sense of wonder, elation, peace or fulfillment
  • Spiritual growth: Embodies a powerful connection to people, the world or the universe


  • Prayer
  • Meditation
  • Walking in nature
  • Reading poetry/sacred texts
  • Lighting a candle
  • Listening to music
  • Smelling incense


The ability of addicted people to establish a substance-free recovery draws on their ability to achieve a meaningful, spiritually-grounded life for themselves.

The ability to inquire about the religion and spiritual life of patients is an important element of our clinical and psychotherapeutic competency.

Millions achieve recovery status through the spiritual fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous.

See also; The House of Sobriety




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