Volume 25, Issue 2 (Summer 2019)                   IJPCP 2019, 25(2): 210-221 | Back to browse issues page

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Bolhari J, Mohsenikabir M. Compiling and Evaluating Educational Package of Spiritual Skills for University Students. IJPCP. 2019; 25 (2) :210-221
URL: http://ijpcp.iums.ac.ir/article-1-2799-en.html
1- Psychiatrist, Spiritual Health Research Center, School of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2- Ph.D. Student in Psychology of Health, Department of Health Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran. , mmkmohseni@gmail.com
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1. Introduction
pirituality refers to the orientation or experience of a person in accordance with the attributes of the transcendental existence in the life. Research has shown that the spirituality and spiritual health affect the mental and physical health. With regard to the growing importance of the spirituality in science over the past few decades, and the spiritual health which is one of four human dimensions, i.e. biological, psychological, social and spiritual, the need for the use of the spiritual methods in taking care of health, training of specialized staff and assistance in the provision of the familial and social health has been emphasized. While training the life skills and healthy lifestyle are highly recommended by the global credible organizations such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), and this skill training has developed a lot in the country, there is no familiarity and valid research about the spiritual skills in the country yet, and training the religious-spiritual skills are given only to the religious and spiritual centers. One of the reasons of this shortcoming is the lack of a manual and a scientific and systematic educational model in the spiritual skills training. The purpose of this applied research proposal was to design and compile an educational package of the spiritual skills for students to use the educational headings and textbooks as a model in the field of spiritual skills. This educational package, similar to the workshops for the life skills training, could be taught to the educators and students.
2. Method 
Curriculum development was conducted in several stages, using various methods in needs and curriculum development in this research by educational research method, as following: First, by reviewing available findings in spiritual skills training, resources on lifestyle and healthy living skills teachings and recommendations in religious-Islamic and spiritual counselling literature and psychotherapy, and reviewing evidence in printed documents like books, encyclopedias, medical and humanities Persian articles databases, Google Scholar, Medline, psych lit, were searched and more than 31 religious-spiritual skills and their prioritization were obtained. Next, in order to complete findings by workshop qualitative method and group discussion, besides expert committee members, approximately 31 faculty members in different humanities fields, counsellors and psychotherapists, and students (in Zahedan), males and females, Shia and Sunni, were conducted by seminary and university studies, group needs assessment, and prioritizing and determining curriculum. In this way, out of 31 skills in pre-phase, 11 skills were selected by participants and experts, and the rest were removed or for next programs. The workshop was then summarized by research group members; headings, content, attitude-cognitive and skillful goals were finalized, and eight skills were proposed to curriculum development. Then, research history and related documentation were provided to experts consisting of psychiatrists and psychologists, and two textbooks preliminary draft were compiled for educators and students. Finally, headings and curriculum were taught to educators and students in three provinces workshops (Shiraz, Tehran, and Rasht). Curriculum content, and method or model were qualitatively evaluated, finalized, and introduced to Science Ministry to print.
3. Results
The first finding of the research was the lack of a guideline, a manual, and a scientific and systematic educational model in the training of the spiritual skills as the headings and techniques in the humanities field of the clinical psychology, counseling, and health psychology. In Persian and Latin sources, there were no well-documented articles with the exception of the religious writings or books without observing the scientific methodology in teaching the life skills and the spiritual skills, which could be a valuable finding for the importance of this study and the future suggestions.
In order to the compilation of an educational book based on the research review of the literature and the point of view of the experts as well as in the consultative workshops, at first, 31 religious and spiritual skills were chosen, and then, eight needs and skills were selected. The participants in this advisory workshop emphasized the systematic model of the spiritual cognition, comprehensive, non-biased, non-related to the religion and Islam, which has a sense of non-scientific bias. These eight headings of the educational texts and the spiritual skills were as following: 1. what is the spirituality 2. The life skills is based on the spiritual skills 3. The spiritual approach in the medical education and humanities 4. The religious and spiritual counseling and psychotherapy 5. The spiritual self-awareness skills 6. The problem solving with the spiritual approach. 7. The forgiveness skills in the restoration of the relationships. 8. The rosary as a spiritual skill.
4. Discussion
For many students, having healthy life skills, especially in promoting values, commitment, and religious-spiritual dimensions is a major challenges of their lives. To define human dimensions, the WHO refers to physical, psychological, social and spiritual dimensions.
The result of this analysis is that a student needs a new life skills set in spiritual dimension to overcome routine stress and achieve a desirable life. Similarity of this package with other spiritual care packages is to define basic concepts like spirituality and religion definition, reasons and evaluation. But the difference is to introduce several spiritual skills, which can be taught along with life skills, which individuals apply in their daily lives. This is an innovation. This particular prominence of this research becomes clearer when it appears in research history used in research and available spiritual skills curriculum, or in centers and religious people and seminary, or to psychotherapy and counseling patients if it is specialized and scientific. Although this study and educational model have been accepted and validated with several assessments, further research is recommended on these skills effects. Another finding was the emphasis of spiritual skill trainers on how to train these skills, like counseling and psychotherapy, methodically, comprehensively, non-biased, non-related to the religion and Islam, and in clinical area. Therefore, the important point after presentation of this research finding is that individual’s mental disorders are required to be treated by skilled counselors and psychiatrists, and their religious teachings are to be conducted by teachers, clerics, preachers, and religious missionaries.
Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines
According to the ethics committee of Iran university of Medical Sciences, interviews with individual could be made if they were satisfied. Participants could withdraw from the research if they didn't want it. The cases in which the participants name was registered for training was classified as confidential.
This study was financially supported by  the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology and Counseling Center. A technical support also received from, School of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health of Iran University of Medical Sciences, Spiritual Health Research Center, Mental Health Research Center, and especially Student Consultation Center of Tehran University. 
Author's contributions
Conceptualization: Both authors; Methodology: Jafar Bolhari; Validation: Jaafar Bolhari; Investigation: Both authors; Sources: Masoomeh Mohseni Kabir; Writing – Original Draft Preparation: Masoomeh Mohseni Kabir; Writing Review & Editing: Jaafar Boalhari; project administration: Jaafar Bolhari. 
Conflicts of interest
The authors declared no conflict of interest.
The authors would like  to thank the centers and authorities supported this study including Dr. Hamid Yaqoubi, Hamid Peyrovi, Bagher Ghobari Bonab, Robabeh Nouri Ghasemabadi, Moslem Mirzaei, Zeinab Ghaempanah, Dr. Shahrbanoo Ghahari, Dr. Hoda Dosalivand, and Elham Zareidoust. 
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Type of Study: Original Research | Subject: Psychiatry and Psychology
Received: 2017/12/20 | Accepted: 2018/12/9 | Published: 2019/07/1

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