Spiritual and emotional wellness is a lifelong quest. We each have a personal "scope" my name for a model of total health and wellness.
We can think of our five dimensions of ourselves functioning within social space. All five of our personal SCOPE interacts with others and the environment as we move from space to space during a day and during life.
We store vast amounts of our experiences in memory, which continue to interact with us on a daily basis. Sometimes our stored experience enhances our present but at other times, our past interferes with our present.
The letters in the model represent six dimensions as illustrated in the picture.
S- Spirituality varies from person to person. Spirituality often includes values and beliefs, behavior patterns such as prayer, emotional responses such as joy and guilt and even physiological responses such as trembling and increased or decreased heart rate. Places and people influence our spiritual experiences.
C- Cognition includes thoughts and images as well as our capacity to reason and remember. Thinking influences and is influenced by other aspects of our being. Our thoughts interact with other aspects of ourselves to form complex interactions with the people and things in our social space.
O- Observable behavior consists of durable behavior patterns (e.g., personality traits) that in part define us from the perspective of those who observe how we behave in the places where they normally see us. There are many durable behavior patterns as measured by such scales as the 16PF (16 Personality Factor Questionnaire). A common and useful look at behavior patterns is often referred to as the Big Five: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Emotional stability (also called, Neuroticism).
P- The physiological dimension refers to that biological substrate of our being that we rarely notice unless something goes wrong. Clearly our health can influence our thinking, mood, behavior, spirituality, and our social interactions.
E- Emotional functioning is considerably dynamic in human functioning and consists of a wide range of responses. Psychologists disagree on basic emotions but we can usually recognize such common emotions as joy, sadness, anger, fear and anxiety.
S- The final S refers to social functioning, which consists of space and time as well as the people that occupy our spaces at different times in our lives. During different times of our lives we spend time in different spaces such as school, work, and home. Our spaces change in physical properties as well as in the people that enhance or detract from our experiences in the spaces of our lives. Our social space influences us. And we influence our social space.
Taken together, SCOPES is a handy way to remember that there are many dimensions to human functioning. It's important that health care professionals and psychotherapists be aware of the dynamic interplay of multiple facets when providing services.
We also need to be more aware of our total SCOPE as we seek to better understand how well we functioning in the different spaces of our lives. Sometimes people use the phrase that something like a job or college program is "not a good fit." The phrase captures the sense of space.
We also recognize that some people contribute a lot to our well-being but others seem to deplete our resources. Sharing our social space with others takes some consideration of how well we can cope them and other aspects of our social space (e.g., work, school).