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Religions 2015, 6(2), 499-526; doi:10.3390/rel6020499

Spirituality and Creativity in Coping, Their Association and Transformative Effect: A Qualitative Enquiry

1
Department of Psychology, Glyndŵr University, Plas Coch Campus, Mold Road, Wrexham LL11 2AW, Wales, UK
2
School of Psychology, University of Ulster, Magee College, Northland Road, Londonderry BT48 7JL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Arndt Büssing and René Hefti
Received: 27 January 2015 / Revised: 20 March 2015 / Accepted: 8 April 2015 / Published: 17 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrating Religion and Spirituality into Clinical Practice)
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Abstract

While the beneficial effects on mental health of spirituality and creativity as separate entities have been well documented, little attention has been given to the interactive effect of the two constructs in coping. Recently, the theory of transformative coping and associated Transformative Coping Model have been developed and examined from both theoretical and quantitative perspectives. To extend this work, the present study critically examined the theory of transformative coping and associated Transformative Coping Model from a qualitative perspective. Ten interviews were conducted among Northern Irish and Irish artists, contemplative prayer group members, and mental health service users. Data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The results showed that the majority of participants had experienced stress and trauma, and have suffered mental ill-health as a consequence. Most defined themselves as both creative and spiritual, and resorted to a spiritual attitude along with creative expression in order to cope with traumatic events and ongoing stressful situations. Most participants believed that their creativity was rooted in their spirituality and that the application of both helped them to transform negative emotional states into positive ones. This, in turn, gave them increased resilience to and a different perspective of stressful events, which aided and improved their coping skills throughout the lifespan. View Full-Text
Keywords: creativity; spirituality; coping; transformative coping; stress; mental health; resilience; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) creativity; spirituality; coping; transformative coping; stress; mental health; resilience; Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Corry, D.A.S.; Tracey, A.P.; Lewis, C.A. Spirituality and Creativity in Coping, Their Association and Transformative Effect: A Qualitative Enquiry. Religions 2015, 6, 499-526.

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