psychospirituality and counseling the youth by ramon clemente martin f lachica l.
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Psychospirituality and Counseling the Youth by Ramon Clemente Martin F. Lachica. Psychospirituality and Counseling the Youth. Part I. Implicit Relational Spirituality (Emotion and Transformation in the Relational Spirituality Paradigm by Leffel, 2007) (Psycho)Spirituality

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psychospirituality and counseling the youth

Psychospirituality and Counseling the Youth

Part I. Implicit Relational Spirituality

(Emotion and Transformation in the Relational Spirituality Paradigm by Leffel, 2007)


the result of nurturing one’s soul or spirit

a way of experiencing reality

sensitivity, appreciation and connection with the numinous
  • our feelings, acts, experiences as we apprehend ourselves to stand in relation to whatever we may consider divine
  • has inner, phenomenological reality as well as external manifestation
  • not necessarily religious
qualities of a spiritual person
Qualities of a Spiritual Person
  • Having a sense of Transcendence (i.e., capacity to go beyond one’s limitations)
  • Having a sense of the Sacred (e.g., reality, holy, well-being, gratitude)
  • Having a sense of Being Connected with the Other
  • Being fully present to life experience; the Here and Now
  • Having a sense of Communion and Oneness with Nature
  • Having a sense of Mission
  • Acceptance of the Ordinariness of Life
  • Having a sense of Compassion and Idealism
  • Having an awareness of the Tragic
  • Having the Capacity to Embrace the Polarities in Life (e.g., holding on & letting go; certainty & ambiguity)
implicit relational spirituality
Implicit Relational Spirituality

Emphasizes the role of emotional processes both as mediator of, and consequences of transformation

Implicit Relational Knowledge

- a network of affectively-charged relational experiences one has acquired in the course of a lifetime; knowledge of “how to be with” (e.g., how to trust, empathy, reciprocate, love); forms the foundation of moral character

moral affective capacities
  • Emotions that serve as Moral Motives that hinder/enable prosocial action (e.g., guilt, hate, empathy, forgiveness) imbedded in Implicit Relational Structures
implicit relational representations
Implicit Relational Representations

– repeated relational experiences, sharing a common affective core, that are conceptually encoded in associative memory as meaning structures; motivates the person’s actions

nonconscious, generated rapidly and automatically without deliberate reflection or reasoning, can energize or obstruct loving acts

“through exposure to relational skills first enacted by others, and then by personal participation, one acquires basic procedural “how to” knowledge of the capacities, and through practice they become increasingly implicit and automatic” (Principle follows Skill)

Implicit and Procedural vs. Explicit and Declarative

Implicit – refers to knowledge, affect, motives that remain out of one’s awareness in associative memory, but may be made conscious (e.g., mindfulness, insight) and symbolically represented (empty chair, transference)

Procedural – refers to what is done; the “how to”; method of doing; course of action

Affective, Motivational and Relational vs.

Cognitivist-Rationalist (Insight-oriented)

“people are fundamentally motivated by, and develop in the context of emotionally significant relationships”

assumptions of the implicit relational spirituality benner 1988 hall 2004
Assumptions of the Implicit Relational Spirituality (Benner, 1988; Hall, 2004)
  • The Psychospiritual Unity of Personality

“the psychological and spiritual aspects of human functioning are inextricably connected, and any segregation of spirituality and psychology is, both artificial and destructive”

2. Universal Prevenience (i.e., ever-present)

“psychological structures & processes form the natural ground for certain higher-order directional strivings”

3. Telic Directionality

- Man’s direction is toward: relationality, self-construction, transcendence

4. Structural Mediation

- the implicit structure guide and motivate relationships with other people and mediate one’s experience of the Sacred Other

5. Developmental Complementarity

“psychological growth precedes spiritual maturity”

(e.g., Erikson’s capacity to trust)

6. Implicit Structural Change

- the goal of counseling is to change (enhance or diminish) the implicit structures of personality

7. Intersubjective Relatedness

The emergence of new moral capacities takes place in the context of relationships (natural, therapeutic)

goal of the implicit relational spirituality
Goal of the Implicit Relational Spirituality

“The capacity to construct, and freedom to express a mature form of personal relatedness (through love) from an increasingly capable character”

- Manifested in terms of prosocial moral affective capacities (such as trust, empathy, reciprocity, forgiveness, love=generative care)

- That these capacities become a psychological resource, easily accessible and which contribute to the achievement of adaptive and rewarding intrapsychic and interpersonal functioning

- They facilitate emotional investment in the strengths development of self-selected others

- Freedom from afflictive (negative) motives and emotions that obstruct one’s capacity to invest on the other

strategies to achieve the goal
Strategies to Achieve the Goal

1. Action of Illumination

  • Enhancement of knowledge (mindfulness) and facilitating Insight
  • Facilitating awareness of the connection between past hurtful relationships and present unloving motives, attitudes and relational patterns
2. Action of Subtraction
  • Enhancement of knowledge (mindfulness) and facilitating Insight
  • Facilitating detachment from the compulsion to repeat unloving motives, attitudes and relational patterns (through narrative emotion disclosure)
3. Action of Addition
  • Engagement in more mature interactive experiences with others (therapist, others)
  • Internalization of more mature others; acquisition of virtues through “moments of meeting”

* Transformation is Cyclical/Spiral

ii praxis application
II. Praxis/Application

Constructing The Story of the “Good Life”/ The “Quest”

  • weaving the events and details of their lives into a more or less coherent story providing them with a meaningful past, and a hopeful future
  • the story could be in the form of:
  • a written/verbal narrative
  • an illustration (drawing, multi-material)
Guide Questions in Constructing the Story:

“What is your Goal in Life?” (practical and ideal)

“What (Who) are the problems/obstacles you face(d) in your journey?” (external & internal)

“What (Who) helped you conquer these obstacles? (external & internal)

process questions
Process Questions:

Focuses on meaning-making, creation of new meanings, sense of purpose, self-realization, constructing an identity and re-interpretation of identity, virtue acquisition through Mindfulness, Insight questions, Art, Imagination, Empty chair

“Is your life good?” “If life is not good, what makes it so?”

“What does this tell u about your identity, strengths, weaknesses?”

“In what way are they an obstacle?” “How did they come about?”

“What good can come out of them?”

“Could they be interpreted as good?” “If not, How could they be transformed to be good?”

“What can u do (specific behaviors) to enhance your strengths/virtues? And diminish vices? To achieve your goal?”

questions for the counselor
Questions for the Counselor:

What is the client’s moral stance? (refers to the person’s perspective from which he/she can judge the quality of his/her own life and the loves of others)

What is the client’s conception of the good/virtue and the bad/vice?

What is the client’s sense of life meaning and purpose?

Are there “neurtue” or neurotic virtues?

What are the existing relationships, emotions that serve as hindrances to the client’s growth? How did these come about?

What are the client’s opportunities for emotional investment on the other (e.g., romantic relationships)

not all good life stories are good
Not All “Good Life” Stories are Good:

1. A clear conception of its final telos (end, future, goal)

2. An education both as to the character of that which is sought (Goal, God, Self) and an education in self-knowledge

3. Specifies particular practices that enable acquisition of the virtues necessary and appropriate to the quest, and as envisioned within some specific social tradition