Wordle: Counselling and Spirituality Feedback

Alette Willis and MaryCatherine Burgess co-facilitated most of the workshops, with Principal Investigator Liz Bondi joining them occasionally and facilitating a couple herself. The number of participants at each workshop ranged from 6 – 24. Initial workshops lasted 1½ – 2 hours, while we decided to increase later ones to 2½ or 3 hours in length. The workshop format was as follows:

  • Introductions of Co-Facilitators and Participants
  • Action Sociometry to ‘warm up’ participants to the topic
  • Readers’ Theatre script reading with participants taking various roles
  • Written Reflections using prepared questions
  • Break
  • Paired or Small Group Discussions about what resonated with participants and stimulated their thinking
  • Full Group Discussion on feedback from small groups and additional reflections
  • Action Sociometry to evaluate and close the workshop

We ran a single day-long workshop, sponsored by the Edinburgh International Centre for Spirituality and Peace. During this longer workshop, there was more time to explore themes and characters and to integrate journaling, art, and audio reflections into individual reflection periods. The expanded timeframe also gave participants longer to discuss their reflections in small and full group discussions.

Feedback on workshop process included the following:

  • Gratitude for the opportunity to discuss a topic not normally addressed
  • Desire for more time to share personal stories and interact with other participants
  • Wish for greater clarity about the aim/purpose of the workshop
  • Need for more diversity beyond Christianity (i.e. multifaith, spiritual without religion)
  • Desire to learn knowledge exchange project outcomes and discover and develop further opportunities for exploring this topic

Personal preparation and/or experience in the area of faith, spirituality, counselling and pastoral care affected participants’ expectations and experience of the workshop.

For guidelines on facilitating this kind of workshop, click here.

To download the Readers’ Theatre scripts, click here.

For an outline of the themes that emerged in feedback, click here.