The therapeutic value of pilgrimage: a grounded theory study

Warfield, Heather Ann (2013) The therapeutic value of pilgrimage: a grounded theory study. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]


The purpose of this constructivist grounded theory qualitative study was to explore the meaning assigned to pilgrimage experiences, to evaluate the similarities and differences between religious and non-religious pilgrimages, and to elucidate the therapeutic value of pilgrimage journeys. The theoretical underpinnings for the current study integrated historical and contemporary pilgrimage theory, personal construct theory, and multicultural counseling theory. Ten participants, who represented diverse pilgrimage experiences, were interviewed about their particular journeys. The semi-structured interview protocol was based on previous pilgrimage scholarship and psychological theory. The interview transcripts were analyzed and coded in congruence with a grounded theory research design model. In specific, initial, focused, axial, and theoretical codes were established. After validation of the four levels of codes by study participants, the investigator posited an emerging theory that pilgrimage is therapeutic in biological, psychological, social, and spiritual ways. Further, the researcher observed that pilgrimages appear to differentiate along a dimension of linearity and were classified as either linear or nonlinear. Despite this classification, both types of pilgrimages in the current study shared a sacred focus. The limitations of the study were explored and the personal and societal implications of pilgrimage were addressed. Additionally, recommendations for future research, counseling practice, and counselor training were provided. Finally, conclusions were offered regarding the promotion of pilgrimage as an antidote for the loss of soul in modern society.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Copyright 2013 by Heather Ann Warfield.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Stanley B. Baker Sejal B. Parikh
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2014 04:13
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2014 04:13
Uncontrolled Keywords: pilgrimage; therapeutic; mental health; counselling; qualitative research
Fields of Research (2008): 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220499 Religion and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5004 Religious studies > 500499 Religious studies not elsewhere classified
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520399 Clinical and health psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950405 Religious Structures and Ritual
C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services)

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