The entire atmosphere of the school is pervaded by the way in which people feel valued. The uniqueness of each person is stressed together with a high quality of skills, knowledge and responsibility. People are worth spending time with and working with. Flexibility and loving attention – real and distinct care for individuals.
In other words, you will find love, compassion, endurance, equality, hope, justice, forgiveness, humility, fellowship, thankfulness, peace, holiness, trust and respect. All of these values are included in the Christian concept of Agape.
The Christian assumptions underpin the atmosphere of the school and can be described as follows:
- The Scriptures reveal the nature and activity of God
- People are created in the image of God
- Christ is the one true Savior and Lord
- God’s work for justice and mercy in the world and his love towards all people is to be seen
- God’s work of rescuing people, through the work of the Holy Spirit, takes place
- The reality of a fallen world is made visible through suffering, pain, guilt, fear, broken relationships and fragmented communities
- God desires His people to work to bring healing and wholeness of spirit, mind and body.
http://www.acc-uk.org/public/docs/page-pdfs/EandPractice.pdf Framework for Christian Counseling
These assumptions form the basis of proper criteria for the students and staff to be able to distinguish between healthy and sick spirituality. Healthy, based on freedom and personal relation with God; ill, based on rigid schemata and defenses.
It must be admitted that researchers have found the following risks of taking up the topic spirituality in psychotherapy:
- The risks of trivializing spirituality as simply a tool for mental health
- reducing spirituality to presumably more basic motivations and drives
- imposing spiritual values on clients
- overestimating the importance of spirituality
Pargament, K.I., Murray-Swank, N.A., Tarakeshwar, N. (2005): Am empirically-based rationale for a spiritually-integrated psychotherapy.Mental Health, Religion & Culture,8(3),155-165.