• A heuristic study into spirituality in the counselling relationship

      Swinton, Valda; Kirk, Noel (University of Chester, 2011-10)
      Through a qualitative heuristic study (Moustakas (1990), four counsellors who identified with their spirituality, were interviewed to explore spirituality within the therapeutic relationship. Through reflexive processes, the experience of the author remained visible within the research, integrating personal and professional experience with that of the research participants. The literature review suggests that psychotherapeutic change both affects, and is affected by spiritual concerns. Transcripts of semi-structured interviews produced the data needed for analysis. The data was analysed and interpreted using Moustakas’ (1990) process. The research identifies three distinct themes, Connection, Transcendence/Mystical, and Definition. The growth of spiritual interest within the general population, and within psychotherapy, suggest that there is a need for counsellors to incorporate spirituality into the therapeutic relationship. Further research suggestions would be, to extend the theory and practice of psychotherapy by exploring the spiritual dimension of human development.