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Exploring Expert Counselors' Spiritual Development and How It Contributes to Their Counseling Work

by Menigat, Donna Jean

Abstract (Summary)
This qualitative research study explored expert counselors’ spiritual development and how it contributed to their counseling work. During a five week period, twelve expert counselors were interviewed in a variety of locations around the state of Ohio. Transcripts of the interviews, along with demographic data, vitas, researcher’s case notes, additional information obtained through follow-up phone calls and e-mails were used to glean information for themes in their discourse. Each participant mentioned a spiritual core or connection as an important component of their spirituality. Relationships were highly valued. Finding meaning in life’s joys and sorrows or assisting clients and others towards discovering meaning was another element mentioned by all. The expert counselor participants had a strong faith base with all of them believing in a God, higher power or connection and committed to their own spiritual traditions. Eleven pray and meditate regularly. Nine spoke of their spiritual core or inner guide contributing to their desire to make right choices for their life. Five individuals believed all of their life was spiritually oriented and the remaining group averaged more than ten hours weekly on their spiritual practices. The majority of the participants consistently address spirituality in their counseling work. Seven participants regularly assessed their clients at the intake session for spiritual values and beliefs. Two others waited until their client disclosed a spiritual interest and then attended to the issue. This study’s results provide support for the concept of spiritual core and connection providing a lens or way to make meaning of life events, inspiration to create a purposeful life which brings holistic health, satisfying relationships and opportunities to be in flow or in sync with that spiritual energy. A discussion of the data collection and analysis is presented. Implications, limitations and conclusions are incorporated.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Ohio University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:spirituality counseling expert counselors relationships central core connection

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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