There’s a new wave of spiritual formation counselors that use the Bible and its commandments to guide people in spiritual development.
The latest group of practitioners, called Spiritual Formation Counseling, says it has helped people find God and heal from their demons.
The group’s founder, Rev. James White, says his church was one of the first to use the biblical tools, and it’s now a $500 million-a-year industry in the U.S.
A new report released this week by the U,S.
Conference of Catholic Bishops calls for more spiritual formation and counseling for adults.
“This is not just a new movement,” White says.
“This is a new approach to spiritual formation.”
White, a pastor at Holy Cross in New York City, says he began the group’s work in 2013 after a friend, who is not Catholic, started asking about the importance of spiritual growth.
White says he felt the need to respond to this request.
He started his ministry in the fall of 2013.
In his weekly phone calls, White often told his parishioners to use God’s Word to guide them through their spiritual growth, to help them avoid judgment and to learn to discern right from wrong.
White’s new group is called Spiritual Forms and the New Spirituality.
It’s part of a larger trend toward spiritual formation in the Church.
There are now dozens of groups like it in the United States, says John Gage, a theology professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
“They’re helping people get to know their own minds and to really be able to be open to God, to be able in their personal relationships and to be aware of their own needs and desires.”
For decades, spiritual formation has been viewed as an alternative to counseling.
Many practitioners are trained as psychotherapists or counselors and are trained to help people overcome negative feelings and make better decisions in a therapeutic environment.
But White, who has trained as a spiritual formation counselor for more than 30 years, says the church’s focus on counseling has made it more difficult to help those with spiritual problems.
He says spiritual formation therapists often come across as “crazy” or “crazy Christians” who “have a need to see people in a better light,” rather than someone who wants to help.
“I think a lot of people think spiritual formation is like a kind of spiritual therapy that is more about what’s good for the person rather than the person doing the work,” White said.
“It’s a therapy that I think is often very dangerous.”
The rise of the new spiritual formation fieldIn recent years, spiritual forms and counseling have become more popular in the church.
A report released last month by the American Psychological Association says that nearly a quarter of Americans ages 18 to 29 say they have sought counseling or spiritual formation since the mid-1990s, compared to about 7 percent in 1980.
And since 2000, the number of spiritual forms therapists have expanded from about 4,000 to more than 35,000 in the US, according to the American Association of Spiritual Formation Professionals.
The American College of Spiritual Counselors, which represents many spiritual formation practitioners, says there are more than 5,000 such programs nationwide, and that more than 1,000,000 American adults are currently involved in spiritual formation work.
White, the group president, says that he has helped more than a dozen people since he started the group.
The rise in spiritual forms has also led to some controversy.
In 2013, a group of Christian counselors sued the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in an effort to stop the practice.
In response, the church announced a change in its policy in 2015 that said counselors could be licensed if they meet certain criteria, including having a professional license in the state where they work, being a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist, and having been certified by a religious order.
The lawsuit was settled in January.
The new policy allows for counselors to be licensed to practice outside the state of Utah.
White believes that this change is the result of a growing desire to provide a more compassionate, therapeutic approach to adults in need of help.
White said that spiritual forms is not a religion.
“Spiritual formation is not really a faith.
It doesn’t have a place in Christianity,” he said.
Spiritual forms is often called the new revival, but its practitioners do not believe in any revival.
The groups’ members say the goal is to help adults discover their inner peace and find meaning in their lives.
“When we go into a spiritual life we’re really looking for a purpose.
We want to know why God created us this way,” White told The Associated Press.
“And that purpose can be a purpose that is good, but it can also be a way to feel better.”
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