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Associate director of the center for spiritual coaching


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Associate director of the center for spiritual coaching

  1. 1. Associate Director of the Center for Spiritual Coaching 2012 Author: Jonathan Dunnemann “I am often confronted by the necessity of standing by one of my empirical selves and relinquishing the rest … the seeker of this truest, strongest, deepest self must review the list carefully, and pick out the one on which to stake his salvation.” William James, Principles of Psychology (1890-1950). NY: Dover Press, pp. 309-310.Objective: The ―Associate Director of of the Center for Spiritual Coaching‖ focuses on “The Spiritual Self-Schema (3-S) and Development” (Avants, S. K., and Margolin, A., 2003; Yale University School ofMedicine) of others in all aspects of their daily life. ―In cognitive psychology, the word schema is used todescribe a mental process for efficiently processing and organizing incoming information (p. 3).‖ Considerthe following explanation: We [all]process information about ourselves schematically. This means that our brains store in memoryfeedback throughout our lifetime (e.g., from others, from our senses, our bodies), and it links this information to our emotions and physiology in a complex interconnecting self-system that triggers automated scripts and behavioral action sequences that help us respond rapidly across situation. We don’t have to stop and think, ―what kind of person am I‖ and ―how would such a person respond?‖ Rather, cues in the environment trigger a schema that sets into motion an automated sequence of cognitive, emotional, and physiological response. Not only do we create and activate multiple self-schemas across our lifetime, any one of a number of self-schemas may be activated at any given time. For example, when we are in the company of our parents, our child self-schema may well become active no matter whether we are 6 years old or 60; however, in the company of our own children, our parent self-schema takes over. Furthermore, the self-schema that is active at home, and the one that is active when dating might be quite unlike self-schema that is most active when we marry. The self-schema that is activated is the one that is most accessible and easily triggered. The most accessible self-schema is the one that is most detailed and well rehearsed in that particular context. For the most part, multiple self-schemas are extremely useful to us in our daily lives. Without our conscious awareness, they help us make rapid decisions and to behave efficiently and appropriately in different situations and with different people. They guide what we attend to, and how we interpret and use incoming information and they activate specific cognitive, verbal, and behavioral action sequences—which in cognitive psychology are called scripts and action plans— that help us meet our goals more efficiently. There are several ways that schemas can become problematic. We are all familiar with the harm caused by using schemas to process information about other people (e.g., stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination); however, we usually don’t see them as harmful to ourselves. Yet the schemas we have about ourselves can cause us suffering when we lose sight of the fact that they are no more and no less than cognitive constructs.Summary: Page 1
  2. 2. Associate Director of the Center for Spiritual Coaching 2012 Author: Jonathan Dunnemann The Associate Director of the Center for Spiritual Coachingis someone who has a spiritual view oflife (including our human nature, work, and the purpose behind one’s calling or lifework), and makes aconscious decision to act,connect, nourish, practice, and lead according to this vision in his or her role asa spiritual helper or guide, to the best of his or her abilities. The Associate Director of the Center for Spiritual Coachingstrives to elevate the value of ―innerwork‖ by translating a spiritual view of life into instruments (processes, practices, methods, activities, andprograms) and behaviorsthat honor this vision, and will contribute to the learning and development of theclient, professional, mentee, or volunteer beyond the bond of religious institutions. ―The activities that constitute ―inner work‖ are as real and as important as any outer project ortask-activities like journaling, reflective reading, spiritual friendship, and [various forms of] meditation.According to Jay A. Conger, ―We must come to understand that if we skimp on our inner work, our outerwork will be diminished as well.‖ Many people equate their true self with their Spiritual self or Spiritual nature. How people describe their Spiritual nature differs from person to person, culture to culture, and will probably be influenced by an individual’s religious beliefs. Some people may describe their Spiritual nature as the divinely inspired life force that not only flows through each of us, but also ultimately defines us. Others may describe it as that which transcends ordinary human experience and connects all living beings. In using the theoretical foundation of the 3-S program (Avants, S. K., and Margolin, A., 2003), we view Spirituality as a precious, but often untapped, resource for coping with the problems of daily life. In the absence of a well-constructed Spiritual self-schema, our habitual self- schemas can obstruct our access to this resource. The goal of the 3-S program is therefore to construct a personal Spiritual path – a Spiritual self-schema – that will rapidly and efficiently provide access to our true Spiritual nature throughout daily life. Creating and maintaining this self-schema takes effort and practice. Vigilance is also required in order to prevent habitually activated self-schemas from intruding and transporting us away from our true nature. Care will also need to be taken not to confuse the self-schema that we will construct, as an expedient means of access, with our true Spiritual nature. As with any self-schema, it is simply a means to an end – a process – one that utilizes both contemporary cognitive- behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques and religious practices that have been in use for over 2,500 years. The emphasis is on helping individuals to understand and connect their own personal mission with that of the organization so that the doing takes place on the combined spirit and energy of the integration of the private and the public. Dr. Robert Lynn, former vice president of religion for the Lilly Endowment and the originator of ―depth education‖ (―depth approach‖) describes the approach as a ―process [that] evokes a depth of spirit not only within the organization but also in the professional[s] …who use this process.‖ ―Leadership that acknowledges and integrates the spiritual does not flee from the deep divide between the private and public. The capacity to move into the void is directly related to the leader’s capacity to deal with their internal polarities. It is in the integrationof the inner and outer worlds that true spirituality can be distinguished from false. But this integration is greatly influenced by an internal struggle in the psyche for balance. From this struggle self- knowledge is attained. The process is comparable to a desert experience – it is a place of encounter, deafening in its silence, terrifying in its solitude, frightening and joyous in its discoveries.‖ Page 2
  3. 3. Associate Director of the Center for Spiritual Coaching 2012 Author: Jonathan Dunnemann ―As Robert A. Johnson explains, ―it is useful to think of the personality as a teeter totter or seesaw. Our acculturation consists of sorting out our God-given characteristics and putting the acceptable ones on the right side of the seesaw and the ones that do not conform on the left.‖ Psychologists refer to the underlying structure of our habitual patterns of thinking, feeling, andbehaving that uniquely characterizes each of us as individuals, as self-schemas used to primarily to filterincoming information, they differentiate and generate judgments about sensations (e.g., as self-relevant –desirable / pleasurable, undesirable / aversive, or neutral), and they guide action, at the most primitivelevel, in pursuit of sensations that are desirable and avoidance of those that are aversive. Thus, throughthis self-schematic process, we create ―the world‖ of our personal experience believing that this is ―Me‖,this is my ―Self;‖ this is how ―I‖ respond predictably and consistently to sensory contact with an otherwiseunpredictable, impermanent external world. It seems that once accessed, a habitual self-schema, just like a high-speed highway, can beextremely difficult to exit. If we were able to stop and examine it carefully, we may find that it is actuallynot taking us anywhere that is personally meaningful. Even if you have found a Spiritual path that is capable of providing meaning and relief fromsuffering, chances are that you are finding it difficult to travel this path in the normal course of a day inwhich it has to compete with the high-speed highway of your habitual self-schemas.Essential to Spiritual Development are the following key processes: In the process of this transformational work, the Associate Director of the Center for SpiritualCoaching,is ―meant to create – or better, be the principal agent in creating – a ―holding environment‖ forthe life and activities of the group or organization. This environment is a psychological space where theleader acts to contain energies and distresses of the group. The objective is to help people stay with thework that needs to be done despite distracting emotional forces.‖ Like all methods of practice, spiritual methods are rooted in a set of values. Since, spiritualcareispotentially the most powerful of all practice methods, the Associate Director of the Center for SpiritualCoaching must be focused on the Highest Good, the benefits of loving-kindness, compassion, reducingthe possibility of causing harm to self or others, and how together we can cultivate our highest potential. The Spiritual Self-Schema (3-S) program is designed to help clients, professionals, mentees orvolunteers To discover their own Spiritual path that leads to compassion for self and others and to relief from suffering; To make their unique Spiritual path increasingly accessible in their daily lives; To use their Spiritual path to cope with adversity and to change behaviors that cause harm to self and others. To recognize the value of social, emotional, behavioral andspiritual learning in inspiring wisdom of the heart, the authority of deep knowing, and in creating a positive future for all beings.The threephase 3-S program … Page 3
  4. 4. Associate Director of the Center for Spiritual Coaching 2012 Author: Jonathan DunnemannThe goal of Phase 1 is as follows: To become aware of the readily accessed, high-speed path (or highway) one typically takes (thehabitual self-schema) that defines how one experiences and expresses one’s ―Self‖ in the normal courseof life, and to determine the compatibility of its automated pattern of thought, feeling, and behavior withthe attainment of one’s personal Spiritual ideals.The goal of Phase 2 is as follows: To construct (or strengthen) one’s unique Spiritual path and to transform it into one thatiseasilyaccessed, well maintained, conveniently used.The goal of Phase 3 is as follows: To transform one’s Spiritual self-schema into one’s predominant or ―habitual‖ self-schema, suchthat any previously traveled paths that led to suffering now fall into a state of disrepair from lack of use,and one’s Spiritual path becomes wider, stronger, and available for use in every aspect of daily life,including coping with adversity and changing behaviors that cause harm to self or others.Responsibilities: To accomplish the above goals the Associate Director of the Center for Spiritual Coaching mustbe able to effectively integrate consciousness-based interventionsand methods in spiritualtransformationwith meditative practices common to a number of the major religious traditions into a non-sectarian, self-help program suitable for all that prevents them from experiencing and expressing theirSpiritual nature, and by developing and rehearsing new cognitive scripts and behavioral action sequenceswith which individuals can capably construct a Spiritual self-schema (a personal Spiritual Path) that willprovide ready access to the experience and expression of their Spirituality throughout daily life.Behavioral Requirement(s): 1. Respect the truths of traditions and communities other than one’s own. 2. Capable of passing on wisdom, lessons learned, and general knowledge to others. 3. Reflect strong emotional intelligence (e.g. self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skill), analytical reasoning and the ability to work with others effectively leading change. 4. Let go of the need to defend your opinions and always be right. 5. Welcome a diversity of opinions and facilitate openness for dialogue. 6. Acknowledge the personal rights and responsibilities of others. 7. Express empathy, acceptance and understanding for others. 8. Be transparent. This is what the philosopher Franklin Merrill-Wolff calls ―Knowledge through Identity‖. 9. Promote the flourishing of life in all its magnificent forms with Truth and Love. 10. Lead people to experience more meaning and purpose in their lives, as they become more loving, kind, compassionate and service oriented agents for positive change in their work, communities and beyond.Training Requirement(s): 1. Training in “The Spiritual Self Schema (3-S) Development Program”developed by faculty at Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, in NIDA-funded behavioral therapies development projects ( Page 4
  5. 5. Associate Director of the Center for Spiritual Coaching 2012 Author: Jonathan Dunnemann 2. Training in the “Foundations of Positive Psychology,” the scientific study of positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions founded on the belief that people want to live meaningful and fulfilling lives (Rooted in the work of Dr. Martin Seligman, world-renowned founder of positive psychology and Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania). 3. Training in clear and deep listening to communicate to others that they are being; a. heard, b. understood, and c. accepted 4. Training in mindful awareness practices or ―MAPs‖ as they call them at the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA (, which can be found in a wide variety of human activities (including eating, sitting, walking meditations, and how to work with difficult thoughts and emotions). These practices develop greater mind-body awareness and reduce stress. You will also learn how to incorporate right-mindedness and focused attention into your daily life; 5. Training in the five main skills of emotional intelligence (Richards, Ellis, and Neil): a. Self-awareness of one’s own emotions b. Managing feelings so they are appropriate c. Motivating oneself in the service of a goal d. Having empathy and understanding for emotion in others e. Being able to interrelate well and work with others 6. Training in “Creating Enlightened Organizations: A Practical Guide to Unleashing Full Human Potential in the Workplace” through the Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace – Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas; 7. Training in the application of the “Spirit of Project Management” through the Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace – Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas; 8. Training in the Relations Theory (RT) of Very (1992) and Oosthuizen and Jacobs (1982) which takes as its point of departure the idea of people, spiritual beings, existing in their personal experiential worlds surrounded by other people and things (Steyn, 2006); 9. Training in commitment, integrity, self-sacrifice, spiritual growth and knowing; and 10. Training in “Continuity and Change” in the “Life Story” along with use of the “Life Story Exercise” and “Life Story Interview developed by Dan P. McAdams at The Foley Center for the Study of Lives, Northwestern University (2008).Experience: Must be capable of taking inventory of one’s own emotional, behavioral and social development,past relationships (both good and bad), lessons learned through significant experiences, spiritual gifts andpersonal passions and invest in the world for yourself and by seeking to have maximum positive impactwith your life through active intention, attention, awareness, intuition, contemplative wisdom, innerknowing and ongoing involvement in the lives of others. An attitude of hospitality, inclusion, trust and a willingness to collaborate with colleagues andscholars from other disciplines as diverse as education, medicine, neuroscience, nursing, psychology,philosophy, anthropology, business, religious studies, sociology theory, and biology.Education: A graduate student working towards the completion of an advanced degree in education,organizational leadership, philosophy, psychology, religion, or sociology that bridges individual Page 5
  6. 6. Associate Director of the Center for Spiritual Coaching 2012 Author: Jonathan Dunnemannexperience, the wisdom of the world’s spiritual traditions, and the rigor and discernment of science andhow it leads to new knowledge, understanding, and practical applications of the powers and potentials ofhuman consciousness transformation.Appearance/Demeanor/Attire:Neat, pleasant, and well groomed. Page 6