Zingeving, spiritualiteit en posttraumatische groei: een proces van experiëntiële verdieping

ARTICLEVanhooren, Siebrecht - 51–3 (2013)


Spirituality seems to be a way of experiencing that is related to certain norms and values that guide our thoughts and actions and make up our sense of meaning. Research shows that spirituality is associated with emotional stability, physical health, and mental resilience after traumatic experiences. In our hypothesis, spirituality is a form of experience that cannot be adopted as an idea but may be induced by experiences that overwhelm or throw us off balance. Characteristically, language seems to be lacking for these experiences. Processing them leads to different evaluations of life in which one shows more wisdom, love, and attention to both self and other. This spiritual transformation can be seen as an holistic experiential deepening process: One starts to experience the world and oneself at a deeper level. In personality psychology, spirituality is associated with ‘openness to experience’, among other factors, and also the change process itself seems to promote greater openness to reality. The effects on both physical and mental health seem to be related to this experiential deepening. Psychotherapy may offer a support base to achieve this deepening.


existential, meaning, spirituality, experiential

The tPeP (Journal Person-centered experiential Psychotherapy) is the scientific journal for Dutch and Flemish psychotherapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, that work from, or are interested in a client-centered perspective.