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Mystical experience of a counsellor : an autobiographical journey Racine, Catherine


This autobiographical enquiry explores, and describes the process and impact of mystical experience on the life of a counsellor in training. What is this experience like? How does it affect a counsellor trained in mainstream academia? What can happen when the secular and the sacred converge during a counselling session? As a result of this experience, what are the conflicts and issues a counsellor might encounter regarding her role, and the counselling paradigm itself? The recent emergence of mystical experience in psychological literature, and the burgeoning of spirituality within mainstream counselling are beginning to challenge many assumptions on which our field is precariously perched. Mystical experience itself is being reported by significant numbers of clients, and a developing theory describes it as a positive and transforming phenomenon. However, there is a notable absence of therapists' voices regarding mystical experience which needs to be addressed if we are to be accountable to our clients, our peers, and ourselves. Using my own voice, and personal anecdotes, I examine this contentious and enigmatic experience to explore its role in my life and my work, and to illuminate some of the more significant issues it has raised for me.

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