Features of Experiencing a Spiritual Crisis and Attitudes to Self in Persons with Spinal Injury



The article presents the results of the study of the specifics of spiritual crisis experience and attitudes to Self in persons with spinal injury (N=65) and conventionally healthy respondents (N=63). The characteristics of spiritual crisis most typical of people with spinal injury were: dissatisfaction and loneliness attributed to the past, present, and future; and suffering attributed to the past. The categories of dissatisfaction, loneliness, and suffering were heterogeneous, as reflected in texts produced by people with spinal injuries and healthy people of different sex and age. Groups distinguished by time elapsed since injury did not differ on quantitative signs of spiritual crises but differed qualitatively in their experiences of dissatisfaction, loneliness, and suffering. People who had lived with the injury longer often experienced uselessness, and a lack of contacts, attention, and support; they were disposed to self-flagellation and guilt. Their attitude to Self reflected in the texts of fairy tales. Healthy controls wrote simple fairy tales describing the interaction of the Real Self and Ideal Self. By contrast, people with spinal injuries focused their stories on emotional experiences of their attitude to Self (complicated fairy tales) or finding meaning, accepting oneself and life in all its fullness and variety (complex fairy tale). Counseling people with a spinal injury, one should take into account both gender and age of the injured person and the potential of the fairy tale itself, which becomes a resource in the experiencing of spiritual crisis and in changing attitudes to Self.

General Information

Keywords: spinal injury, spiritual crisis, attitude towards Self, Self-concept

Journal rubric: Empirical Researches

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpp.2020280304

For citation: Vachkov I., Odintsova M.A., Tristan O.A. Features of Experiencing a Spiritual Crisis and Attitudes to Self in Persons with Spinal Injury. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2020. Vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 42–64. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2020280304. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Igor Vachkov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Professor of the Department of General Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7784-7427, e-mail: vachkoviv@mgppu.ru

Maria A. Odintsova, PhD in Psychology, Docent, Head of the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy of Distance Learning, Faculty of Distance Learning, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3106-4616, e-mail: mari505@mail.ru

Oksana A. Tristan, Masters Student, Faculty of Distance Learning, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8349-5170, e-mail: tristanoa@fdomgppu.ru



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