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Title: Authentic space
Author: Jamison, Joan Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 6326
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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This inquiry examines the lived experience of a believing Christian seeking authentic space on a secular academic course. It has come about as a result of an experience of both angst and transformation leading to the focus of this inquiry which is looking to answer the question of: 'How does a committed Christian with a belief in foundational truth, authentically relate and integrate their faith and new found knowledge in counselling practice and research on a secular training course'? Research literature acknowledges a growing interest and demand for further debate and research in the domain of integration of faith and psychotherapy and practice, where evidence points to there being a gap in training. Integration is acknowledged as problematic but specific challenges are noted as not being so well researched. The study is written in the form of a paradigmatic case study where the researcher is also the researched. It embraces a pluralistic methodology incorporating aspects of personal narrative, interpretive phenomenological analysis and tacit understanding as advocated by Polanyi. This inquiry explores both the problem encountered and the solution found. The problem was epistemological, that of a personal belief in foundational truth, the central tenet of the Christian faith and the challenge of co-habiting a secular relativist space. The purpose and goal of this inquiry is to both show and tell the process of integration, which allowed authentic space to emerge both personally and theoretically. An exploration of a personal epiphany of 'heart and mind' integration is pivotal in this inquiry. The key finding which made integration possible was the discovery of and engagement with both Michael Polanyi and C.S. Lewis and their progressive theories of knowledge: theories which embrace both fundamental Christian belief and the fundamental values and theories taught in the dialogue of both person-centred and psychodynamic approaches. This study and reflexive analysis has created the basis of a body of work, which can be used as a means of support for Christian trainees who encounter similar challenges in academic spaces and in practice in this postmodern age. It can also be of benefit to trainers and course designers and counselling practitioners as they engage and dialogue with this re emerging phenomena. Finally this inquiry can be the catalyst for further research and development in order to begin to bridge the epistemological gap encountered in training.
Supervisor: Wyatt, Jonathan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: authentic space ; Christian belief ; counselling practice ; integration ; secular relativist space ; Michael Polanyi ; C.S. Lewis ; course designers ; epistemological gap