In general practice it would be unethical for a DMP to discuss or disclose her spiritual orientation and when working in a secular setting I naturally adhere to the professional code in this regard. I know other DMPs who are Christian and I think we would all see our work as being Jesus’ hands and feet – we take Christ with us into some very dark places and people respond to His light in us, even though we don’t disclose our spirituality
I am very fortunate in having a progressive and outward looking Pastor who has supported and encouraged me in my dance ministry and throughout my DMP training. Some of my groups are offered through Nantwich Elim Church’s Open Space project and therefore take place in a Christian setting so my spiritual orientation is implicit in the fact that I’m part of their team, but the groups are open to people of any/no faith and faith only comes in if the clients bring it in.
There are many reasons why people might prefer to have a Christian therapist. Clients who are Christian often want the assurance of knowing that their therapist is too, even though the work may not refer to issues of fait. Sometimes a non-Christian may still want to have a Christian therapist. In either case the focus is on the process and what the clients bring to the session.
Others may wish to have the freedom to include Scripture and prayer as part of the therapeutic process. If a client expresses a wish to specifically to have a Christian perspective to the therapeutic intervention I will find an appopriate way to accommodate this. Before a client joins any group I sit with them and talk through the process and we agree what our respective expectations are – that’s when I would know which group would suit them best.
I work in a person-centred model and in this work, the ‘power’ is always with the client. Faith and spirituality can often be fundamental to an individual’s sense of self and if their inclusion will help the trust necessary for a therapeutic relationship then I feel it makes sense to acknowledge it. Bringing faith into the therapeutic process has to be approached sensitively and I have regular Clinical Supervision and placement Supervision as well as ongoing dialogue with my personal therapist to ensure my practice stays within ethical boundaries.