1st Edition

Understanding the Psychological Soul of Spirituality A Guidebook for Research and Practice

    284 Pages
    by Routledge

    284 Pages
    by Routledge

    Understanding the Psychological Soul of Spirituality is a comprehensive exploration of spiritual constructs based on an empirical, evidence-based paradigm for understanding and addressing spirituality.

    In a field where there is no current consensus on spirituality, this book provides a much-needed psychologically based definition and ontology that assists helping professionals in formulating their professional identities; developing effective and appropriate training models; furthering their understanding of what spirituality is and is not, from a psychological perspective; and more effectively addressing spiritual issues to support clients.

    The authors provide a review of current issues in the area of spirituality, also called the numinous, and provide perspectives that address these concerns in ways that promote a fully scientific understanding of the construct. Ultimately the book provides a concise definition of the numinous that places it squarely in the social sciences. Chapters outline the clear value of the numinous for psychology and detail its relevance for professionals’ training.


    1. Brief Overview of the Current Status of Religiousness and Spirituality in the Social Sciences: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go 2. A Psychological Ontology for Understanding Spirituality and the Numinous 3. A Social Science Paradigm for Making Numinous-Based Clinical Interventions: From the Integration to the Collaboration of the Social Sciences and Theology 4.An Epistemological Approach to Understanding Spirituality and the Numinous 5. Overview of the Only FFM-Based Measure of the Numinous: The Assessment of Spirituality and Religious Sentiments (ASPIRES) Scale 6. The Logoplex as a Psychological Model for Understanding Meaning 7. Clinical Assessment of Clients that Includes the Numinous: Introduction to and Validation of the Comprehensive Psycho-Spiritual Clinical Interview (CPSCI) 8. Clinical Case Presentation 9. Recommendations for Developing the Science of the Numinous  Appendices


    Ralph L. Piedmont, Ph.D., is managing director of the Center for Professional Studies in Timonium, Maryland USA.

    Teresa A. Wilkins, Ph.D., is a Licensed Professional Counselor and lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland USA.

    "Today, at a time when clinical work seeks to be aware of multicultural issues, desires to be more sensitive to their clients' ultimate concerns and respectful of the potentially healing role of religious resources in psychological treatment, we are gifted with this groundbreaking new work. Whatever your professional background, theoretical orientation, and current views regarding the place of religious issues in treatment were before you read this book, you are sure to walk away from it with new wisdom and, hopefully, a willingness to see where your own ideas may now lead. Thought provoking, holistic, empirically based, and willing to address some of the most challenging questions surrounding the role of religious and spiritual constructs in the treatment of clients in contemporary society, it is in a word, brilliant."Robert J. Wicks, PsyD, author of The Tao of Ordinariness: Humility and Simplicity in a Narcissistic Age, USA

    "This is a comprehensive toolkit for understanding the empirical psychology of the numinous. It contains useful measures, an assessment guide, and suggestions for training, practice, and research. It is the essential authoritative source for all interested in the scientific study of the numinous, coauthored by the foremost expert in the field."Ralph W. Hood, Jr., PhD, professor of psychology and religious studies, University of Tennessee, USA

    "What is the place of the numinous in human life? How do scientists understand it, and how do clinicians work with it? Very few books offer the profound value to both scientist and practitioner that this ambitious book does. This is an uncommon, visionary, and bold work, bridging epistemology and theology, social science and clinical practice. The book’s approach to understanding the numinous will challenge researchers to grow philosophically and methodologically and prompt clinicians to think more deeply and integratively."Chris J. Boyatzis, PhD, professor of psychology, Bucknell University, former president of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, USA

    "Ralph Piedmont and Teresa Wilkins have set out an ambitious task—to reconceptualize how to understand people’s sense of the sacred and how mental health professionals might work with it in assessment and psychotherapy. Their concepts, practical tools, and case studies will help both practitioners and psychologists of religion and spirituality counsel more effectively and powerfully and understand why the sacred matters so much."Everett L. Worthington, Jr., author of Forgiveness and Spirituality in Psychotherapy: A Relational Approach, USA