The concept of Mysticism especially in Solution Focused Counselling, remains an enigma however, the proposed question nevertheless assumes the existence of such phenomenon and is therefore subsequently proposing to pursue the journey for further discovery. In counselling, one of the most important and basic ingredient for the meaningful process between the client and the therapist is trust. Trust develops through mutual bonding and collaboration, this way creating new and inviting relationship (Dryden & Reeves, 2008). A mystic seeks union with core self that is ultimately aimed at the union with God who is an ultimate goal for all relationships (Revels, 2006). Therefore, this question into the relevance of mysticism in counselling is aimed at the crucial element: the importance of the relationship. Mysticism can be studied experientially or by participants’ own accounts (phenomenology). Participants in my qualitative research disclosed their experiences following taped interview with questions designed to framework this investigation.
The Purpose of the Study
The aim of this study is to focus on the largely unexplored however, clearly observable phenomenon of mysticism that occurs during the counselling process. The study endeavours to uncover the mechanisms behind the peculiar incidences that may baffle counsellors and can amaze clients. The nature of this phenomenon as much as it is fascinating, due to its inexplicable nature, lacks warranted investigation by contemporary counselling researchers, so far.
The concept of mysticism similarly to love may be difficult to describe nevertheless it can still be applicably expressed in the existential background of a real experience through perceived insights of compassion, self awareness, darkness and nothingness, originality, radical amazement and many other expressions that reflect human experience.
A qualitative, phenomenological approach was used in this research to collect detailed and in-depth descriptive information from participants. The advantage of a qualitative, phenomenological approach is to allow for the narrative accounts. They illustrate incidences that assist in accurately describing the phenomenon being explored. In the given circumstances where the chosen topic requires participants to provide descriptive and reflective account of their individual experiences, this method is the most suited (Patton, 2002).
It is not difficult to identify occurrences of the phenomenon; however the difficulty lies in description of its peculiar and un-predictive nature. The questions that counsellors sometimes ask themselves are: “I know that something is happening but what is it? Why and how suddenly client seems to be getting better from a certain point that up until then the therapy seemed stagnated? Why sometimes the change is so sudden?
The quest here is to discover and test an improved practical method that works most of the time in therapy. However, even if “proof” cannot yet be identified, such undertakings can potentially have beneficial repercussions across the counselling profession that may spark further study in this unexplored area of therapeutic process.
Mirek Kanik December 2010
Patton, M.Q. ( 2002). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. (3rd ed.).
Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications
Revels,P. (2006). What is mysticism?
Dryden, W., & Reeves, A. (2008). Key Issues in Counselling in Action. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications