University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Helping Skills in Spiritual Companionship

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Moral Theology

DESCRIPTION The study-unit is intertwined with both theories and practical skills as helping aids to the spiritual director.

It is focused on the director making him realize the gift of direction by exercising the skills of paying attention, noticing, and staying with the directee’s experience; familiarizing himself with some psychological tools in making him more aware of any hidden motivations that may be underneath the spiritual request of the directee.

It fosters the contemplative attitude of spiritual companionship, thus allowing the director to pay attention and notice the movements of God in the experience of the directee. A special attention to the inner dynamics of psychological obstacles and the resistances in both director and directee is a must to deepen more the contemplative stance.

Study-Unit Aims:

By the end of the study-unit, the student should:
- get acquainted with skills and know how to identify and utilise them according to different approaches to Spiritual Companionship;
- discover the contemplative approach within the Companionship;
- come to know more and distinguish problems that are of a psychological nature and those related to spiritual areas.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- BARRY WILLIAM A. & CONNOLLY WILLIAM J., The Practice of Spiritual Direction, HarperSanFrancisco, New York, 1982.
- EGAN G., The Skilled Helper. A Problem Managemnet and Opportunity Development Approach to Helping, Wadsworth Publications Co.,
- HART T.N., The Art of Christian Listening, Paulist Press, 1980.
- SMITH G.T., Spiritual Direction: a Guide to Giving & Receiving Direction. Downers Grove, IVP, 2014.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Alexander Refalo

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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The 21st Annual Augustinian Lecture 2017 will be celebrated on the 5th and 6th December 2017 with two lectures delivered by Rev. Prof. Theodore Dieter.

Closing Date Dissertation Proposals
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