In this issue
Building bridges – the importance of counselling and personal development in spiritual growth
Linda Watkinson considers what place counselling and personal development have within church and faith community settings
Open heart, open mind: conversing with the soul
The therapist who can help the soul to speak can open the way to healing, says Andrew Powell
Does God exist?
John Rowan uses Ken Wilber’s theories regarding levels of consciousness to explore how we know whether God exists
Counselling and spiritual accompaniment: the same, but distinct
Peter Gubi’s research shows many similarities in the practices of spiritual accompaniment and counselling, but differences in standards of training, working to an ethical framework and supervision. He asks what role APSCC might have in addressing these differences
From the chair
Lynette Harborne: 1,001 members
Lead advisor update
Salma Khalid: Spiritually uplifting
Welcome from the editor
‘What is your vision for Thresholds in the future?’ This was one of the questions put to me when I attended an interview for the post of editor of Thresholds. Vision? Did I have any vision? I remember a moment of panic, then after a long pause I answered somewhat nervously, but with passion, that I felt the journal should reflect the rich, wide spiritual backgrounds and practices of the membership, and be a resource to practitioners, whatever their spiritual background. As I am sitting here writing my first editorial, I guess that this must be a vision shared by others, and I am delighted to join the APSCC team.
As a counsellor and researcher spirituality often seems to be at the heart of what I do. People often seem on a quest for meaning in their lives asking questions such as, ‘who am I?’ or, ‘what is the point in all of this?’ I am always amazed by the power of these questions; and the rich diversity of spiritual beliefs and practices that emerge, often very different from my own. Indeed, I am reminded constantly how fundamental spirituality is to the person’s sense of wellbeing.
Difference is not necessarily a bad thing as it can result in rich tapestries of understanding being created and multicultural conversations taking place. A young Muslim woman I am currently working with said to me recently, ‘the divine is the key. It is where we meet. Even though you are from a different faith and culture, it is through this spiritual layer that meaningful conversations happen and my pain is dispersed.’
A big thank you to all of you who responded and completed the questionnaire about Thresholds. I have carefully read all of your responses, and this helps me as a new editor to gain an understanding of what you are looking for in your journal. As you will see, Thresholds has a new look in this issue. We are hoping to include articles and features from a wide range of practitioners and specialists in the field, together with your letters, book reviews and updates from the Chair and Lead Advisor of APSCC. There have also been requests for a practitioner’s page where ethical dilemmas, challenges and examples of good practice can be shared. If you have ideas for this (or any other) page, and would like to contribute, then do contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Within this issue you will find articles from Andrew Powell, looking at how conversing with the soul can bring about healing; John Rowan asks, ‘Does God exist?’ and explores how answers to this question may depend on our level of consciousness; Peter Gubi shares his research into similarities between spiritual accompaniment and counselling and asks what role APSCC might take in addressing differences; and Linda Watkinson explores the place of counselling and personal development within church and faith community settings.
Dr Susan Dale