It's a journey... Emerging adult women's experiences of spiritual identity development during postgraduate psychology studies in South Africa
MetadataShow full item record
The spiritual identity development of six South African, emerging adult, female, postgraduate psychology students (21 to 22 years old) was explored using reflective writing exercises and individual interviews. Interpretative phenomenological analysis revealed that spiritual identity exploration occurs continuously across the lifespan, with optimal opportunities for deepened development during emerging adulthood. Development happens in context and is enhanced by the postgraduate psychology training experience, as well as exposure to spiritual and religious diversity. Reflections on challenging events result in sophisticated meaning-making processes regarding purpose in life, as well as the authoring of a spiritual life story. There is an intricate and reciprocal relationship between the development of a spiritual identity and the psychology profession – spirituality, values and worldviews can be regarded as important aspects of the therapeutic process for many individuals.