Diploma in Practical Spirituality and Wellness
(Crossfields Institute Level 3)
This pioneering professional Diploma qualification, which was originally developed by William Bloom PhD, is on hold now. All faculty members across the UK are currently collaborating to adapt the course for an online format, so we can continue to provide this training independently from outside circumstances. I am considering offering a new live course, with a 2022 start in London. The course will take you on a one-year journey spaced over 8 in-person weekends with lots of practice, reflection and guided peer-group work between teaching days. Whilst you will have to complete some written work for your portfolio, the programme is designed to be experiential and embodied rather than academic. You will learn about the health benefits of spirituality, develop and deepen your own spiritual practice and self-care and learn how to hold and support others on their journey. The course offers a heart-based safe space for personal and spiritual exploration and growth as well as the first UK qualification integrating spirituality and healthcare to be on the Ofqual Register, the government overseer of qualifications. Graduates of the course have the opportunity to become members of the Spiritual Companions Network and practise as Spiritual Health Mentors/Coaches. They will also be licensed to deliver the Spiritual Health Programme. Participating in this training will be a great asset for anyone already working in a therapeutic, caring or educational setting, or anyone simply wishing to develop and deepen their spiritual practice in a non-religious, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually literate environment.
Location: The Spiral Centre, Islington, 2 Shelburne Rd, London N7 6DL
Course Dates 2021: tbc
Benefits and Relevance
Content of the Course
Administration and Application
History of The Diploma
‘Health is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’ World Health Organisation
‘Spirituality emphasises the healing of the person, not just the disease. It views life as a journey, where good and bad experiences can help you to learn, develop and mature.’ Royal College of Psychiatrists
‘What works best for you?’
Benefits and Relevance
There is an increasing need for spiritually competent people, whose approach is holistic, person-centred and who celebrate diversity. This is particularly relevant in the fields of health and social care, education, pastoral care and organisational wellbeing. This is based on two important developments:
- The growing evidence base for the beneficial links between spirituality and health.
- A general social tendency away from membership of a single religious faith to a more general spiritual approach.
- Strengthen your own physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing through establishing and/or deepening your daily spiritual practice.
- Support friends, family and colleagues through improved relationships, communications and caring skills.
- Develop a meaningful lifestyle of mindfulness, compassion and service.
- Become part of a diverse, yet inclusive community of like-minded souls who speak your language, find your 'tribe'.
- Gain an accredited professional qualification to give person-centred and holistic spiritual support and pastoral care.
- Become part of a professional network with peer support, insurance scheme and ongoing CPD (courses in celebrancy, teaching meditation and mental health/spiritual emergency are being pioneered for CDP).
- Work in multi-disciplinary teams in many types of organisation, e.g. hospices, hospitals, schools, colleges, prisons or companies.
- Integrate spiritual health into your current career or start a new one as a Spiritual Health Mentor/Coach, facilitate the Spiritual Health Programme in one-to-one or group settings.
- Acquire practical strategies and concepts that can immediately be shared with others.
Content of the Course
The Course consists of four units. Click here for the learning objectives:
Unit 1: PERSON-CENTRED SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
In this unit you explore and experience the spiritual practices that benefit health and wellbeing. You are supported in clarifying and implementing the approach that best supports your own daily spiritual health practice. In this way you experience for yourself the benefits and challenges. This all takes place within a group of supportive peers and tutors. From this personal experience and observing the diversity of approaches in your fellow learners, you then explore how best you might support others from diverse cultures and with different learning styles to develop their own spiritual health practice.
Unit 2: DEVELOPING REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
In this unit you learn about the crucial importance of reflective practice for self-care and personal development. You will explore the different reflective strategies, choose the approach that best suits you and implement a daily practice of careful and honest self-reflection. This is built on a foundation of mindfulness and the compassionate witnessing of your thoughts and feelings. You will study how reflective practice is a crucial element of self-managed healthcare and psychological wellbeing. You will also look at the psychological and mental health challenges that may be linked to spirituality.
Unit 3: SCIENCE AND CONTEXT
This unit introduces you to the history, culture and science of the relationship between spirituality and medicine. You look at the evidence base, the physiology and the psychology of how spirituality can benefit health. You are supported in developing and clarifying your own language and terms of reference, so that you can communicate effectively with clients and colleagues in multicultural and interdisciplinary environments. You also reflect on how all of this is relevant to your own personal experience of illness, wellbeing and health.
Unit 4: SPIRITUAL CARE IN PRACTICE
This unit builds on the knowledge and practice of the other three units, focusing on the actual giving of spiritual care and enabling others to develop their own spiritual health practice. You will be introduced to and required to practice the fundamental skills of whole-body listening and how to facilitate a developmental conversation, one-to-one and in small groups, around the health and wellbeing benefits of spirituality. You will learn how to lead individuals and small groups into meditation. You will also study the psychological challenges that may arise in an enabling relationship and be introduced to the crucial topic of risk and the procedures for assessing and referral.
Our Definition of Spirituality
We always encourage people to develop their own definition of spirituality. That said, we find that the following definition is appropriate and helpful in most educational and healthcare environments:
Spirituality is everyone’s natural connection with the wonder and energy of life – and the instinct to explore that experience and its meaning. Spirituality affirms that human development is about the growth of compassion and awareness, heart and mind.
Andrea Klein is a Spiritual Companions Educator, healer and mindfulness-based coach. A linguist with a background in the film industry and in secondary education, Andrea retrained extensively in mid-life and now uses healing, energy psychology, mindfulness, EFT and NLP to enable people from all walks of life to develop their spiritual and emotional literacy, empowering them to make transformative choices and deepen into Being. It is her passion to bring more spirituality and consciousness into the mainstream.
Following her own spiritual awakening through crisis in 1995, Maria Luz Fernandez works as a registered counsellor and psychological practitioner in the NHS, primarily in psychoeducation, incorporating spiritual advocacy which is at the core of her work. She is a Spiritual Companion, has completed the Diploma in Relational Mindfulness for Health Professionals at the Karuna Institute and is an active member of the UK Spiritual Crisis Network.
William Bloom PhD is one of Britain’s leading authors and educators in modern spirituality and a holistic approach to individual and community wellbeing. He is co-director of the Spiritual Companions Trust and has spent 30 years on the faculty of the Findhorn Foundation. His many books include The Endorphin Effect and The Power of Modern Spirituality.
Application and administration
There are no formal academic entry requirements. Applicants must be over 18. You will complete an application form, which requires you to give some life history and describe your motivation. Our main concern is that learners demonstrate the potential to develop emotional literacy, a welcoming attitude to diversity and mature self-management. We ask all students to have access to the Internet as the portfolio is web-based and some small group sessions may happen via Skype.
ASSESSMENT AND ACCREDITATION:
Assessment is continuous, through tutor and peer observations and a portfolio that contains reflective notes, a diary of insights and mini-essays. The written tasks are structured into 3 Milestones, the deadlines of which will help you manage the written work continuously throughout the course. If your tutor can certify that you have attended the required minimum in-person sessions, reached the learning objectives and fulfilled all required portfolio tasks within the given time frame, you will receive accreditation from Crossfields.
TIMING AND STRUCTURE:
The course consists of 96 classroom contact hours over 8 weekends, which take place over the course of one year with a 2 month summer break and a month to complete your portfolio after the last classroom sessions weekend. Students will be organised into small peer support groups which meet 8 times during the course, in-between each classroom weekend, either in person or by conference call/Skype.
Students are also required to complete 300 self-directed learning hours between modules, which include activities such as reading, researching, companioning others and reflective writing assignments. This also includes a commitment to a minimum of 20 minutes per day devoted to their spiritual practice of choice.
LOCATION AND COURSE DATES:
Location: The Spiral Centre, Islington, 2 Shelburne Rd, London N7 6DL
Course Dates 2020: March 28/29, April 25/26, May 30/31, June 27/28, Sept 5/6, Oct 10/11, Oct 31/Nov 1, Nov 28/29
You will have a further 4-6 weeks after the last course weekend to complete and submit your portfolio. Assessment and submission to the accreditation body will be completed shorlty thereafter, so that the entire course is completed within one year.
FEE STRUCTURE AND PAYMENT PLANS
Personal Investment: £1950 which includes a learner registration fee of £350 for the accreditation. A deposit of £350 required to guarantee your place and full balance due before the first weekend.
Early bird offer: £1750 for sign-ups and full payments made before 15 November 2019.
There may be concessionary rates available upon proof of hardship. Please contact me directly if this applies to you or if we can help with a payment plan in instalments.
Please contact me to arrange an exploratory chat on the phone or Skype and I will forward the application documents to you or click here to see the application questionnaire.
FULL SPECIFICATION AND POLICY DOCUMENTS:
For the full Ofqual Specification and relevant policy documents including refunds and inclusivity please visit the Downloads and Policies page on the Spiritual Companions website. If the course fails to meet its minimum number of students to make it viable all advance payments will be fully refunded.
‘This course taught me to fully connect with my higher self and the universe around me. It has enabled me to develop a daily practice of connecting with the wonder and richness of life, which has in turn hugely enhanced my wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around me.
My spiritual development was on the ‘back burner’. It is now fully on the ‘front burner’ and has become embedded in me as part of my daily life. This course fundamentally changed my life for the better on many levels.’
Diana Brown, Administrator
‘Overall, the course was a blessed, safe oasis giving me time and space to be and reflect, empty and stretch, expand and deepen connection and spiritual practice. It was a blessing, too, to learn and share with the same group of peers on a regular basis. Alongside this, the commitment of an ongoing rhythm and group accountability and encouragement were invaluable. The holistic nature and breadth of the material covered in a spirit of exploration with a warm, generous, experienced facilitator transparently consolidating alongside us.
And of course, a wonderful opportunity and gift of practising spiritual companionship and embodiment.’
Ila Mazumdar, Primary school teacher
‘Before the course I had done lots of personal development, therapy and awareness work, but on some level life was still an effort and I was living in tension. Through the teaching of simple and accessible meditation practices the course helped me to become more grounded, more kind, more loving — more me, more of the time. It helped me to establish a daily spiritual practice of my own which I’d never really managed to do before and I learned the value and joy of service and just being kind to people.’
Pete Brown, IT project manager
‘So much love and gratitude for the most phenomenal year. You have created something very powerful and I am in deep gratitude. To be part of a caring community of like minded and extremely supportive souls has been a joy and a gift.’
Susannah Moore, Primary school teacher.
‘Big thank you. I feel I’ve really benefitted from the whole programme. Its an initiative with real value and something truly ground breaking.’
Paul Smith, University lecturer.
‘I have grown in so many ways! This course has opened my eyes to a world and universe I never realised was so big. The awareness I have with how I behave and respond to my friends, family and clients and their response in return is just fantastic.’
Jo Creighton, Holistic therapist.
‘What I got from the course was a beautiful deepening into spiritual practice leading to a far clearer idea of how this can be of service. I now find myself very comfortable sitting with pretty much anyone and simply being with them, with their beauty and with their difficulties. As a few more layers of my own pretense have been stripped away I can meet others from a more real and loving place. And I guess I also developed a quieter confidence in my own spirituality. What a wonderful experience!’
Phil Roberts, Leadership facilitator, coach and mentor
William Bloom gave a long interview in the i-newspaper in May 2017. Read it here.
History of The Diploma
This qualification has its roots in courses that were trialled by Dr William Bloom in the Alternatives Programme of St. James’s Church, Piccadilly, London. These were then integrated into the Level 3 Certificate of Professional Practice in Spiritual Studies and Companionship, which was accredited by the College of Teachers. When the College of Teachers ceased their accreditation services, the course was further developed with a new accrediting partner, the Crossfields Institute. It achieved Ofqual accreditation in March 2016.
This whole process has been under the umbrella of the Spiritual Companions Trust, an educational charity (Spiritual Companions Trust – PO Box 3662, Glastonbury, Somerset BA6 8ZY, Charity No: 1155777)