When people go through depression, anxiety or any other mental illness, they have to seek help. Often, one can’t decide what resources to tap into, when so many options are available. One has psychologists to go to, spiritualists (I don’t mean the hand readers or numerologists), and even self help books.
Which is better?
Often science, medicines and shrinks don’t work, then spiritualists or self helps come handy. But, this is when the individual is desperately seeking answers, and these sources help them to build a cohesive life philosophy for themselves or realize the values they want to live by.
In my case, both the shrink and the spiritualist were extremely instrumental for me to understand my “condition”. The shrink made me realize certain technical things that most probably I wouldn’t have understood from a spiritualist, like the fact that I was scared of overdoing things and hence was dysfunctional. The spiritualists, on the other hand, gave me the positivity and ground for what was missing in my belief system. They made me realize I need to primarily work on living a balanced life.
While spiritualists can motivate you, inspire you and help you build for a better future, shrinks can assist you with the application part, which includes listening to your banter for you to achieve catharsis, remove the mental blocks, to help you apply the philosophy you took from the spiritualist/self help source. Every shrink also has to act like a spiritualist sometimes, to show their client the way forward.
My personal belief is that a psychologist’s focus is often on adaptation and functionality, while a spiritualists is on value creation and massive personal growth.
It also depends on what you are going through. For neurotic issues, one can often take help from spiritualists and self styled self help gurus. However, for more serious, prolonged and often psychotic issues, one may definitely need the help of a shrink and may optionally go to a spiritualist as well.
The kind of values & philosophy one’s spiritualist propagates also makes a huge difference. If a practice emphasizes on individual agency, empowerment, balance etc, then one is safe. But if they are in the hands of a spiritualist whose values differ from these, such as dogma, superstition & sacrifice, they could get worse.
Disclaimer- The above are my personal views. I am not a psychologist, however I am currently majoring in Psychology in college.