Spirituality and Work

Spirituality and Work

Addressing the connection between spirituality and work

This article, “Spirituality and Work: Usefulness of Analogy and Questions,” by Donna Sandberg, Career Path and Julia Yang, Governors State University, was first published in the “Illinois Counseling Association Journal,” Volume 154, Number 1, Spring 2006, Illinois Career Development Special Issue: Toward a Life Work, Courage, Creativity and Collaboration.

Spirituality at Work: Usefulness of Analogy and Questions

Donna Sandberg, Career Path
Julia Yang, Governor State University

Abstract–Work, like all tasks of social living, is the movement connecting the individual longing and laboring to oneself, others, and the community. Interestingly, the work place is often dominated by the perceptions of necessity and productivity. The emotional and spiritual needs of our work are, for the most part, ignored. Career professionals, therefore, are challenged to seek creative ways to consciously facilitate the spiritual connection for individuals who are engaged in transformative processes of career development and decision making. In this article, the authors, reflecting on the premises of career construction theory and Adlerian psychology, present the use of analogy and Socratic questions with career transitioners in private practice and counselor training settings.

Spirituality at Work: Usefulness of Analogy and Questions

Philosophers have taught valuable lessons about purpose and meaning in our live(s)/work for centuries. Work, often seen as a secular space, is in fact a spiritual pathway through life in which we find expression of our self and our love for life and the commonwealth (Yang and Waller, 2005). Work, like all tasks of social living, is the movement connecting the individual longing and laboring to oneself, others, and the community. Interestingly, the work place is often dominated by the perceptions of necessity and productivity. The emotional and spiritual needs of our work are, for the most part, ignored. Career professionals, therefore, are challenged to seek creative ways to consciously facilitate the spiritual connection for individuals who are engaged in transformative processes of career development and decision making. In this article, the authors, reflecting on the premises of career construction theory and Adlerian psychology, present the use of analogy and Socratic questions with career transitioners in private practice and counselor training settings.

Click here to read the complete article:  The Lamp Analogy (pdf)

Further topics include:

  • Work Spirituality: What Is It
  • Accessing Individual Spiritual Perspectives and Stories
  • The Lamp Analogy
  • Energy for the Bulb
  • Socratic Questions and the Shadowed Imagination