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Fostering a Therapeutic Experience of Awe


Awe is a recent area of study that has opened up in the last twenty years. An apparent intersection between psychotherapy and spirituality within this field is present. Furthermore, because research in this area is so new, there are many areas that can be developed further. This capstone will synthesize the present research on awe into the following five categories: 1) benefits (i.e. gratitude, well-being, altruism) 2) spiritual implications (i.e. small-self state, connection and transcendence), 3) components of awe (i.e. vastness and need for accommodation), 4) fostering awe (i.e. present moment awareness or mindfulness, openness, connection), and 5) implications for practice. Using the findings of the literature, a therapeutic tool is presented that hopes to foster therapeutic experiences of awe using present-moment awareness, mindfulness, connection and openness. Finally, personal reflections of my learning journey are provided in an integrative paper, in which I reflect on my spiritual approach, professional identity, and personal learning journey. 

Keywords: awe, vastness, accommodation, present-moment awareness, openness, psychotherapy, transformation, benefit, well-being, gratitude, curiosity, mindfulness

Capstone final
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poster references
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