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Searching for wholeness in a fragmented world: a consideration of relational factors to self, others and beyond

Boulter, C. (2018). Searching for wholeness in a fragmented world: a consideration of relational factors to self, others and beyond. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


The research aims to explore participants’ experience of spirituality within their lives generally, including within their therapy. Previous research has suggested that there is a degree of trepidation amongst some therapists to integrate spirituality into their therapy and there is thought to be a general lack of training in this area. In addition, there is limited in-depth understanding of the role of spirituality on an individual’s journey through life. Within this research, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight participants across the UK. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to analyse the data which provided rich insight into the impact of spiritual aspects on participants’ life journeys and the experience of this within their therapy. Findings demonstrate that participants had anomalous experiences within their lives but this was not generally integrated by family members and/or peers. Spirituality was often viewed as separate from the therapy and some were wary that inclusion of the spiritual dimension would detract from the therapeutic encounter. The participants’ perception of therapists and society influenced their disclosures of spirituality. The research found that people mostly drew on their spirituality on a personal level and it was an individual rather than a social endeavour. Considerations of leading a spiritual life within the confines of modern society and cultural attitudes were also raised. Limitations and suggestions for further research are considered.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
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