‘This book is encyclopaedic in its range compacting much fascinating material into a small space.…West has a gift for summarising and critiquing others' thought with brevity.…The book will resource and stimulate its readers’ — Counselling. ‘There have been many books written about counselling with respect to class, politics, gender, culture and similar issues but, as far as I am aware, this is the first major work to be presented in this country about working with a client's spirituality and the importance this may have… Is a must for trainees in the field and for those who feel a client's spirituality is an irrelevance.’ — Cahoots.

The Spiritual Space and Spiritual Unfolding

The spiritual space and spiritual unfolding

In this chapter I will be exploring how the therapeutic space can be experienced as spiritual. I will draw on my own researches and experiences of spirituality and psychotherapy as well as those mentioned in the literature. It begins with a consideration of spiritual experiences in therapy, followed by a consideration of the spiritual space in therapy including groups.

Spiritual Experiences in Therapy

In my research (West, 1995a; 1997) into therapists whose work includes healing there were a number of examples of spiritual experiences occurring in therapy sessions. A Gestalt psychotherapist described an experience that occurred during the course of one of his regular clients’ therapy which he saw as representing a ‘quantum leap’ in that ...

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