Helping Relationships: Counseling and Spiritual Growth

  • James M. Nelson

The path of religious and spiritual growth is in many ways a positive one filled with exciting possibilities. However, it is neither a smooth path, nor is it something that can easily be done outside of a relational or communal context. Because of this, it is not surprising that most or perhaps all people at some point in their lives seek others for help and support with their spiritual journey. In response to these needs, various religious traditions have developed relational strategies for guidance and help. These helping relationships play a key role, as modern research suggests that there is a strong relationship between involvement of others and success in achieving personal transformation (Baumeister, 1998). In the Christian tradition, this kind of assistance is sometimes referred to as spiritual direction, while in some forms of Hinduism and Buddhism the focus is on a relationship with a special teacher or guru.


Human Person Explicit Strategy Pastoral Care Spiritual Life Pastoral Counseling 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyValparaiso UniversityValparaisoUSA

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