The Art of Spiritual Companioning
My approach is playful, enjoyable and effective. Essentially, I use The Arts to help people connect with and express their feelings, all the while being present with them, staying attentive and empathetic to their expressions and feelings, and validating those experiences and feelings through spiritual counseling.
Michele Johnston (a.k.a. Monarch) holds an Honours Degree in Psychology and Social Work. She has over 20 years experience working with children as an Educator and has trained in Expressive Arts Therapy. Michele chooses to focus on using The Arts as a tool for people to express themselves, and being a spiritual companion along with them on their journey. She is a guide-a mentor if you will, here to help those who are willing to transform their lives or state of well-being into something more positive.
In Monarch’s words:
In my many roles in life (parent, educator, colleague, friend, and healer, to name a few) counseling is a big part of who I am and what I do. I came across the concept of Spiritual Counseling in “The Family Virtues Guide” by Linda Kavelin Popov. The concept really resonated with my approach. Let me explain:
“To be a spiritual counselor is to offer more than your compassion. It is to support…people…when they are facing a moral dilemma. It is to ASSIST people to find resolution rather than doing their spiritual work for them…to help them find their own truth” (The Family Virtues Guide, pp. 45-46)
This approach uses the skills of Empathy-when you can feel someone’s feelings, and Companioning, which is “bringing compassion and detachment together so that you can walk intimately with others without taking on their feelings as your responsibility” (p. 46) Popov quotes Douglas Steen who says “To ‘listen’ to another’s soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another.”
Using The Arts as a part of counseling, whether it be visual, dance, music, poetry, play, or hopefully a combination of any of these is one of the most effective ways to help people get in touch with the roots of their feelings, buried deep down inside, and also expressing those feelings in a safe, healthy manner.
Being Present, listening to a person’s feelings and helping them to express their feelings without judgment is one of the most empowering methods one can use when in the role of a ‘counselor or guide’ (I prefer to call myself a Mentor). It is an esteem builder, and one of the best ways to guide a person back to mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. -Monarch Mariposa
Pouring Out Love,