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Title: Dancing barefoot : an exploration of women's experience of the spiritual accompaniment/direction relationship
Author: Kitcatt, Caroline Anne
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2010
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The aim of this research project was to explore the training, experience and knowledge which are necessary to offer spiritual companionship. I wished to research this particularly in relation to women, since women historically have been invisible in many religious faiths, their voices unheard, and their stories unwritten, and because of my own experience of struggle within the institutional church. The research methodology was a bricolage of heuristic enquiry, organic enquiry, and person-centred enquiry. Thirteen women were interviewed face to face using semi-structured interviews, including seekers, participants from training courses, and trainers. The interviews were transcribed and participants were invited to amend or clarify any points they were concerned about. The data was analysed into themes which emerged from the data. The participants had the opportunity to read the draft of the data presentation and ask for changes. The main themes are presented alongside my own process, reflections, poetry and art work relating to that and to the processing of the data, and also interwoven with quotes from the diaries of Etty Hillesum. The themes identified are the process of finding a spiritual companion, the need not to be directed, the quality of the spiritual director’s presence, issues of power, trust and risk, issues around holding or failing to hold boundaries, the boundary with friendship, and the nature of the experience needed by the spiritual companion. The needs of women in this relationship are explored, and the contribution of the person-centred approach is considered. The conclusions are that this is a complex relationship which requires commitment on the part of the spiritual companion to their own spiritual growth, alongside a person-centred approach to being alongside the seeker, and also a sophisticated awareness of the issue of appropriate boundaries, with particular reference to the needs of women.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available