Een wezenlijk gesprek: Een antroposofische bijdrage aan counseling van zieke mensen
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In this thesis I answer the main question: “How can an anthroposophical anthropology and view on illness direct forms of counselling by pastorals counsellors?” The background of this focus is the situation of ill people who need pastoral care in coping with their illness and their stay in the hospital. In a conversation between patient and counsellor both are mutu-ally not only being affected by their biographies, but also by more existential aspects con-nected to their anthropology, life-view and (spiritual) view on illness. This thesis zooms in on the possible role of an anthroposophical anthropology for a pastoral counsellor and patient. In the second chapter I made clear how people interpret and cope with their situa-tion of illness in the most different ways. Different aspects of coping play a part: not only relevance, orientation and evaluation (possibly with their religious aspects) as ‘primary appraisal’, but also the way means and goals are being used for coping and the search for significance. For the professional practice of a pastoral counsellor it is important to have attention for the (spiritual) view on illness, so this can be involved in the conversation. In the third chapter I describe the anthroposophical anthropology. This is a spiritual anthropology with a broader, holistic and cosmic view, which places the development of the human-being – out of freedom - central. Out of this anthropology ideas evolve about the connection between the human-being, illness and biography, which lead to conceptions about health as in differentiated pathology and salutogenesis. This anthropology with her characteristics is - just like any other holistic integrated anthropology - subordinate to cer-tain ethical frames. The most important are to not obtrude one’s own anthropology upon someone and to keep attention for experiences of senselessness. In the fourth chapter I worked out how existing anthroposophical methods of con-versation can help explore the situation of a patient and his/her search for significance by: Experience-orientated forming of judgments and value-orientated making of decisions, Imagination, characterisations and objectivities, Exploration of different aspects of life and identity, Synchronical and diachronical reflection on the current situation and identity. These techniques with their characteristics follow on the pastoral practice of the counsellor and seem to offer possibilities. In the fifth chapter this was also made visible in the practice of some antroposophically working caregivers by describing interventions and questions exercised in their practices. Here it became more clear how they make the anthroposophical anthropology and tech-niques of conversation incarnate. Afterwards I described how their interventions can con-tribute to the process of coping and the search for significance, and more concrete, how they can lead to a conversational model. This list of questions can also be used by non-anthroposophical counsellors. In the sixth chapter I looked into how a counsellor can reflect on the own professional-ism and the relation to life-view and professional practice. Also it became clear that an an-throposophical counsellor or doctor has other frames of reference than collegueas who do not life by this life-view or implement it in a professional way. So my main question of research can be answered as follows: An anthroposophical anthropology and view on illness can contribute to the coun-selling of patients in the following ways: By giving a deepening in contents of the holistic anthropology and helping hands to place biography and illness in a holistic frame, By offering conversational techniques and models, so the counsellor can create more space for the whole human-being and the whole biography of the pa-tient, but can also strike more adequately biographical sources in the search for significance. Furthermore, this exploration contributes in two ways to reflecting on the professionalism of the pastoral counsellor. The research of this anthroposophical contribution contributes also, because of her gaining of ethical consciousness on reframing and questions being asked, to the re-flection on the own professional practice of the pastoral counsellor The research on the life-view coloured professional practice of the pastoral coun-sellor contributes to the professional framing of the doctor, psychologist and the counsellor himself/herself.