Clodd, S. (2016). Facing the future: exploring the transpersonal in contemplating retirement. A heuristic study [Unpublished Master’s thesis]. Alef Trust & Middlesex University.

The aim of this study is to explore the transpersonal in contemplating retirement, as it impacted on a small group of female co-researchers and myself. Needing an approach that would allow for deep self-exploration a heuristic study was chosen. Data was collected from my journal, which contained reflections, poems, song lyrics, music, articles and drawings. Further data was collected from my five co-researchers using dialogue based interviews. All co-researchers were aged between fifty-five and sixty-five and who, like me were actively, or recently, engaged in professional careers, in either psychotherapy or social work. Data was analysed using an adapted form of thematic analysis and two major transpersonal themes emerged: confronting mortality and, seeking authenticity and growth. Findings suggest that we cannot have the second without acknowledging the first and there is clearly a desire to burgeon and a belief that this is possible during this next phase of life. Identified subordinate themes demonstrate how we are managing this dilemma and find a place for ourselves in the future. Findings show an increasing sense of spiritual connection with others and with nature, a desire to remain visible and use our skills and expertise, as well as explore new avenues and rediscover forgotten or latent parts of us, whilst managing the knowledge of mortality. Findings suggest we do this by holding two different concepts of time, seeking meaning and acknowledging the spiritual dimension in our lives. The findings are critically discussed in relation to relevant literature. Finally the limitations of this study are explored and ideas for future research identified.

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