ethics wellness and holistic flow model 2005

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Holistic Flow Model of Spiritual WellnessMelanie Purdy and Peggy DupeyThe Holistic Flow Model of Spiritual Wellness is a conceptualization of spirituai health and well-being thot has implications for clinical practice and research. The model is unique in its placement of the spirit at the center of life and in its fluid vision of the spirit. The authors present the modei after a discussion of spirituolity and the detinitions of "flow" and a brief review of existing wellness models. The model's components are belief in a universal force, making meaning of life, making meaning of death, connectedness, faith, and movement toward compossion. Included in the article are descriptions of spirit, the components of spirifualify. and a sample applicafion of the model.


he curiosity of human nature dictates that individuals wonder about that which they do not know. Interest in one's personal spirit is not a new phenomenon. For centuries, spirituality has been pondered. Ancient theologians, mystics, oracles, shamans, and witch doctors first discussed the concept, and since then, many leaders of organized religion and philosophers have claimed to know the nature of the spirit. Only in the last 20 years has spirituality become equally important in the world of counseliiig, psychology, and medicine (Ingersoll, 1994; Lawrence, 2002; Richards & Bergin, 1997). The question becomes. What is the role of spirit in our work as helping professionals? The meaning of spirit and an individual's approach to and development of spirit is highly personal and varied. Religion, literature, philosophy, psychology, counseling, and science all have perspectives on the nature and purpose of spirituality. The belief that one's personal spirit can be nurtured and developed without conventional religion is gaining acceptance among many counselors and other helping professionals. Those in helping professions try to assist as people attempt to bring happiness into their lives each day. Individuals acquire possessions, begin new relationships, and engage in new activities to try to fill the void that inevitably touches each life at some point, but rarely do people look to spiritual awareness as a means to happiness and health (Hamilton & Jackson, 1998). The Holistic Flow Model of Spiritual Wellness that we present in this article provides a means through which helping professionals can explore spiritual health in both clinical practice and research. We explain how the model enhances holistic wellness by purposefully developing components of an individual's spirit. We describe the components of spirit and how they affect life tasks. When approached with creativity and openness, spirituality and the concept of one's spirit can increase the effectiveness of counseling.Melanie Purdy, Office for Prospective Students, University of Nevada, Reno; Peggy Dupey, University of Nevada School of Medicine. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Peggy Dupey, University of Nevada Schoal of Medicine, Penniuglon Medical Education Ritildiiig/MS 357, Reno, NV 89557 (e-mail:

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Models of WellnessBefore exploring the various components of the Holistic Flow Model of Spiritual Wellness, it is important to review traditional models of wellness that focus on life tasks. Concepts of wellness and health now permeate the literature in psychology and counseling. In fact, wellness has become a desirable point at which to begin psychological assessment. In their article introducing the concept of positive psychology, Selign:\an and Csikszcntmihaly (2000) suggested that the social and behavioral sciences can "articulate a vision of the good life" and can "show what actions lead to well-being" (p. 10). Holistic approaches to wellness maintain that "treatment is not just fixing what is broken; it is nurturing what is best" (Seligman & Csikszentmihaly, 2000, p. 9). Many existing models of holistic wellness include spirituality as a component; however, there are no models that identify spiritual wellness as the primary focus that influences all aspects of an individual's life. The life task components of most wellness models include the physical, intellectual, social, spiritual, emotional, and occupational realms (Eberst, 1984; Hawks, 1994; Hettler, 1984; Maples, 1996; Myers, Sweeney, & Witmer, 2000; Sweeney & Witmer, 1991). Despite son:\e variation, cominon definitions for these life tasks include the following; Physical health includes exercise, nutrition, and rest. The goal is a strong body that includes muscular strength, cardiorespiratory wellness, endurance, and flexibility. Intellectual health is the ability to reason, analyze, be creative, and make rational decisions. Social health is the ability to create and maintain loving, genuine relationships. It includes feeling accepted and belonging with larger social groups. Spiritual health has varied meanings in the models but typically includes the concept of spirit as the life-giving force. Emotional health is the ability to identify, manage, and express emotions in an appropriate way and includes the ability to cope with distressful situations and to adjust to change. Occupational or career health includes doing work that is n:\earungful and fulfilling. Several models identify spirit as the central energy source that allows an individual to engage in the activities that are associated with the other components of Ufe (Chandler, Holden, &: Kolander, 1992; Eberst, 1984; Maples, 1996; Myers et al., 2000; Purdy & Dupey, 2000, 2003). As Young, Cashwell, and Woolington (1998) have described spirituality, it is the "core reciprocal component of the overall wellness of the individual rather than as a stand-alone or isolated dimension" (p. 65). Eberst's (1984) Health Cube Model includes the areas listed above. In addition, the components in this model are separate but considered to be intimately related


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and function in a synergistic relationship with one another. Eberst began to define spirituality as a deeper dimension on which the other areas "pivot" or converge, as in one of the axes of his cube, and stated that" it is possible to suggest that the spiritual aspect of health is much more than just one of the six dimensions" (p. 101). Chandler et al. (1992) asserted that the spirit is "the innate capacity to, and tendency to seek to, transcend one's current locus of centricity, which transcendence involves increased knowledge and love" (p. 169). Theirs is a strong, thoughtful model that depicts spirit as a circle from which the other components sprout. In this model, an individual's optimum wellness occurs when the five areas are balanced and "developed potential in both the spiritual and personal realm" (p. 171) is met. The authors asserted that spiritual wellness is a balance between repression of one's spirituality and total immersion in one's spirituality Maples's (1996) Holistic Adult Development Model places spirit at the center and describes three potential configurations. Some individuals possess a flexible and hopeful spirit; some possess a rigid and predictable spirit; and some possess an unpredictable, visionary spirit. Another prominent, well-developed model is Sweeney and Witmer's (1991) Wheel of Wellness, updated in 2000 by Myers et al. The Wheel of Wellness considers wellness a way of life geared to optimal health in which the mind, body, and spirit are integrated and an individual can live fully (Myers et al., 2000; Sweeney & Witmer, 1991). The model integrates five life tasks: spirituality, self-direction, work and leisure, friendship, and love with subtasks that are associated with development of each life task. Spirituality is prominent in this model and is defined as "an awareness of a being or force that transcends the material aspects of life and gives a deep sense of wholeness or connectedness to the universe" (Myers et al., 2000, p. 253). More recently, Myers and Sweeney (2003) introduced the Indivisible Self: An Evidence-Based Model of Wellness. The new n:\odel places the Adlerian concept of the Indivisibility of self at the center, with five second-order factors clustered around the center. These second-order factors are coping, creative, social, essential, and physical (Myers & Sweeney, 2003). In the new model, spirit has been moved from the central position that it occupied in the Wheel of Wellness and now appears as a con:\ponent of the second-order factor called "essential." All of the models discussed in this article focus primarily on the life tasks of intellectual, sociai, physical, emotional, and occupational health, while acknowledging spirituality. However, none of them address how to grow and develop the spirit to make the life task areas richer. The Holistic Flow Model of Spiritual Wellness defines common components of spirit but suggests avenues through which the spirit can be developed to enrich the quality of life. The Holistic Flow Model of Spiritual Wellness (Purdy & Dupey 2000,2003) incorporates the following life tasks associated with holistic wellness: companionship, mind, life's work, emotions, body, beauty, and religion. Although the life tasks of this model share similarities with other models of wellness, the descriptors have been updated to reflect the increasing diversity and multicultural perceptions of human experience.

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Counselors and psychologists are attempting to identify effective ways to assess spirit in order to incorporate it better into clinical and research practices. Other areas of the human experience have been well researched. Entire academic disciplines concentrate solely on how thoughts and behaviors influence the human psyche. Some disciplines of ps


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