The Spiritual Realm : An Existential Position Concerning Human Nature and Counseling
Thacker, Terence L.
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The purpose of this paper is to present an existential position which deals with the spiritual realm and its relevancy to counseling. The spiritual realm is that area on the continuum of human experience which is uniquely human. The foremost characteristic of that which is uniquely human is the human capacity to be conscious of the self. The underlying variable responsible for that which is uniquely human is human reason. There is a functional relationship between human reason and all characteristics which are uniquely human. An important consequence of reason is free will and responsibility. The primary motive of that which is uniquely human is the desire to attain existential fulfillment through the meaning derived from actualizing one's values, and the core of this primary motive is an individual's ultimate concern. Spiritual health is a matter of one's own subjective experience. An individual's sense of spiritual health increases and decreases along with how well he satisfies his will to fulfillment. When focusing on the spiritual realm during counseling, the client's experience of fulfillment is explored to discern if, or how, he satisfies his will to fulfillment. This exploration aids the client and the counselor in arrlvlng at a more effective way for the client to attain existential fulfillment. The spiritual realm is a vital aspect of one's total being, and thus must not be ignored by those in the preventive and curative health care fields.
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