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1 CCPA Conference 2011, Presentation Description Understanding Diversity of Spiritual Experience Location: Albert i) Judeo-Christian Creation Story: Much.

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Presentation on theme: "1 CCPA Conference 2011, Presentation Description Understanding Diversity of Spiritual Experience Location: Albert i) Judeo-Christian Creation Story: Much."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 CCPA Conference 2011, Presentation Description Understanding Diversity of Spiritual Experience Location: Albert i) Judeo-Christian Creation Story: Much psychopathology results from unfulfilled, broken or diseased relationships. Going 'back to the garden', we rediscover what normal psychological health can be. Jim Robertson is a Counselling Therapist with eighteen years of experience in private practice. His specialty is the integration of theology with psychology. ii) New Spiritual Dimensions: The impact (dispirited feelings) of oppression, bullying and abuse - understandings from major theological and spiritual thinkers in the queer community. Gary Simpson is a school counsellor, completed graduate programs in guidance, and in educational psychology. He reads journals about counselling queer clients, and writes letters about hate crimes. iii) Pastoral Counselling: Holy moments of psychotherapy, the pain, movement of God and prayerful relationship which develops between therapist and client. Carolann Trainer practices privately and at an Aboriginal Health Centre. Her gift is to create space for those who are or have been marginalized by their life-span development.

2 2 Understanding Diversity Of Spiritual Experiences Presenters Jim Robertson Gary Simpson Carolann Trainor CCPA/ACCP, 2011, Ottawa

3 3 Understanding Diversity of Spiritual Experience A Model of Health as Found in the Judeo- Christian Creation Story Jim Robertson, MCS, CCC

4 4 A Model of Health Introduction The first chart in this presentation is from Statistics Canada, modified last in 2005, we see that of a population count of 29,639,035, 24,738,945 people reported an identification with religions. 4,9000,090 reported no religious affiliation. This is very important for counsellors to consider. It means that 80% of the people we will see in our offices have some spirituality incorporated in their lives. 23,181, 820, or 78% indicated Christian or Jewish affiliation. Much psychopathology results from unfulfilled, broken or diseased relationships. Going “back to the Garden,” of God’s original design, described in the Judeo-Christian Creation Story, we discover what “normal” psychological health was designed to be. By incorporating spirituality into the counselling process, this model of health can once again be realized.

5 5 A Model of Health

6 6 In the next slide, from the book by W.T. Kirwan, called Biblical Concepts for Christian Counselling, we note from the Book of Genesis, that even though Adam had a relationship with God, it was ”not good enough.” Adam’s social needs were yet unfulfilled the way God planned. These Social needs were both: Internal; -to love -to be loved -to find fulfillment External; -to be together -to walk together -to work together -to be “one flesh”

7 7 A Model of Health “Not good enough” From: Biblical Concepts for Christian Counselling, W.T. Kirwan, 1984 God Adam Eve Relationship Social Needs Unfulfilled Internal To love To be loved To find fulfillment External To be together To walk together To work together To be “one flesh” No Relationship

8 8 A Model of Health In the next slide, after the creation of Eve, God is pleased and says: “It is good.” Relationships are complete, social needs are fulfilled. Adam and Eve enjoy perfect intimacy with God and each other as they “walked in the Garden naked, physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Someone has said that INTIMACY means “into me you see.” This is what God pronounced as “Good.” According to Judeo-Christian theology, this is why we humans were created. To have a beautiful, safe and mutually empowering relationship with God and each other.

9 9 A Model of Health “It is good” God Adam Eve relationships complete Social needs fulfilled

10 10 A Model of Health Next we see that, with the effect of the “Fall,” relationships were severely broken. Distortion entered into mankind’s existence. These distortions were both: Internal -lost identity -anxiety and fear -anger -depression -guilt and shame External - lying -jealousy -coveting -stealing -adultery -murder

11 11 A Model of Health “Cursed” AdamEve Relationship broken Go d Relationship broken Internal Lost identity Anxiety (fear) Anger Depression Guilt External Murder Jealousy Coveting Stealing Adultery Lying Distortion

12 12 A Model of Health In the next slide, with a diagram I have modified from the book by Frank Minirth and Paul Meier, called Love is a Choice, we can see God’s perfect intention for marriage and family. We note, on the left side of the slide, arrows proceeding from God to a husband, and a wife, individually. 1 John 4:10 explains God “first loves us.” Deuteronomy 6:5, instructs God’s people to then, in return, “love God with all their hears, all their souls and all their strength.” Ephesians 5:21, in the New Testament, instructs Christians to “submit to one another, as unto God.” This means to submit to love, not abuse (a whole other seminar!). Deuteronomy 6:7 then says we are to “teach these things diligently to our children.” Thus, when God comes to a child at their age of accountability, they can recognize God because He/She is “just like Mum and Dad.”

13 13 A Model of Health Contrasted to the previous diagram, the diagram on the right side of the slide shows God’s love blocked (by sin) so neither husband nor wife become filled up with God. They therefore have nothing to give each other, other than perhaps a tiny bit of love in their “love tanks” from their parents or grandparents. An “empty love tank” will act like a vacuum, sucking from the other. This couple, then, will suck each other dry and be ready for divorce after a short time. They then go looking, like the New Testament story in the Gospel of John 4, of the woman at the well, for others to fill up their love tanks. Of course, this couple has very little love with which to nurture the God-designed needs of the child. They then are vulnerable to taking what they need from the children. We call this emotional incest and sexual incest. It is the exact opposite of God’s design! When God then comes to that child, the child wants nothing to do with God, if “he/She is anything like my parents.”

14 14 A Model of Health God’s Perfect Intention for Marriage and Family, 1 John 4:10; Eph. 5:21; Deut. 6: 1-7 Modified from the book Love is a Choice, by Minirth and Meier God Husb.Wife Child

15 15 A Model of Health How do we then, reverse this downward spiral of estrangement between people? The next slide, The Pyramid of Marital Satisfaction, modified from a diagram in Counselling and Marriage, by Friessen and Friessen, the rebuilding process begins by establishing a strong relational foundation by developing individual psychological and spiritual health. Next relational health is empowered by acquiring healthy communication skills Next to be built are conflict resolution skills The end result is developed or restored intimacy Note the next slide, the 12 Types of Intimacy, from Enrich Canada, is a helpful explanation for process of the opening up of the dimensionality of intimacy.

16 16 A Model of Health The Pyramid of Marital Satisfaction Intimacy Conflict Resolution Skills Communication Skills Individual Psychological (spiritual) Health

17 17 A Model of Health COMMUNICATION INTIMACYMutual understanding and affirmation SPIRITUAL INTIMACY Unity shared in religious expression COMMITMENT INTIMACYMutuality derived from common interests CONFLICT INTIMACYFacing and struggling with differences CRISIS INTIMACYCloseness in coping with problems and pain WORK INTIMACY Closeness in sharing common tasks RECREATIONAL INTIMACYRelating in experiences of fun and play CREATIVE INTIMACYSharing in acts of creating together AESTHETIC INTIMACYSharing in experiences of beauty INTELLECTUAL INTIMACYCloseness in the world of ideas EMOTIONAL INTIMACYBeing tuned into each other’s wavelength SEXUAL INTIMACYSharing passion and physical pleasuring From Growing Together, Couple Workbook, Enrich Canada

18 18 A Model of Health The Gospel of John, 17:21 “That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us.” “Back to the Garden of perfect intimacy.” All comes full circle. An understanding of the Theology of the sacred Judeo-Christian texts, and the Model of Psychological Health revealed within them, provides a “road map” for the restoration of psychological, spiritual and relational health in the counselling process.


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