Author Identifier

Dominic Savio

Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education

First Supervisor

Lily Taylor

Second Supervisor

Mandie Shean


This thesis attempts to capture my lived experiences of psychospiritual counselling and to describe how my research journey has shaped me personally and professionally. As a priest engaged in psychospiritual counselling internationally for nearly three decades in diverse settings, I attempt to seek further clarity and make sense of my rich experiences in this research. Therefore, I endeavoured to investigate if and how building resiliency through psychospiritual counselling can be comprehended as transformative education.

Experientially speaking, as a priest and psychospiritual counsellor, I recognised that people leaned on their moral vulnerabilities and were blinded to spirituality as a source of inner completeness and the development of their resilience as transformative education. My literature review thus aimed to broaden my comprehension of psychospiritual counselling as transformative learning that builds resiliency for therapists and clients.

My three research questions attempted to answer how psychospiritual counselling is considered, the role of psychospiritual counsellors, and the strategies they utilise to enhance resilience as transformative education. I strived at resilience enhancement as transformative education by developing an integrative approach to psychospiritual counselling that combined positive psychology and spirituality.

My doctoral thesis is an auto/ethnographic design, and its philosophical foundations are interpretivism and critical constructivism. My data analysis of the four case studies revealed how participants’ personal experiences within their socio-cultural worlds, multiparadigmatic viewpoints, and theoretical frameworks shaped and reconceptualised their constructs and practice of psychospiritual counselling as integrative, transformative, and self-transcending that enhanced their clients’ resilience.

An essential suggestion for future research is to investigate if this research could apply to psychospiritual counsellors of other faith traditions and their understanding of spirituality as transformative learning that improves resiliency. Lastly, I examined how this research impacted not only my understanding of transformative learning but how it has transformed me.