Spirituality as investigative topic has been a construct often classified as nebulous and difficult to explore scientifically. When specifically relating spirituality to psychotherapy there are a number of identified authors who wrote on the subject but few specifically addressing the South African context.
This qualitative study aims to investigate spirituality in psychotherapy focusing on clinical psychologists understanding and experiences with spirituality in psychotherapy. An interpretative phenomenological analysis as methodological lens specifically focuses on the participants lived world and the purpose is to attempt a rich understanding of their experiences. The study is grounded in existentialism and its themes and assumptions.
Participants were identified and selected making use of purposive sampling. Three clinical psychologists participated. The method of data analysis was adhered to as prescribed by interpretative phenomenological analysis. From this method of analysis a picture of descriptive overlapping themes emerged which is then provided as results.
Themes that emerged were attunement to spirituality, conceptualisation of spirituality, the structure of the therapeutic unfolding, spirituality as a process of becoming, and the therapist s journey of embracing spiritual obstacles. The research found that although there are many factors associated with the construction of spirituality it is made accessible for investigation through the unfolding process of the rich narrative brought by the person in therapy. The therapist facilitates a process of authentic connection to the person s experiences which leads to shifts in awareness and engagement.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2016.