Spirituality In Counseling

2363 Words 10 Pages
Spirituality in Counseling
Matthew Van
Roosevelt University
Psychology 605

Spirituality in Counseling
Spirituality in counseling has been the source of much controversy and uneasiness over the past century. This topic has seen drastic shifts in how it is perceived and treated in the field of psychology. From being shunned and treated as mentally unstable to being accepted as whole, people that find spirituality important have experienced a range of responses. Why have we seen a shift in the views on the integration of spirituality in counseling? Why was spirituality ever viewed as a negative reflection on a person? Why is spirituality now so vital? This article will examine these questions as well as explore important aspects
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How can spirituality be included in counseling in a way that will benefit clients without the counselor negatively affecting the outcome of the client (Steen et al., 2006)?
Varying guidelines are laid out by a variety of researchers for the appropriate incorporation of spirituality in counseling. Most of these researchers have the same basic ideas but Plante (2007) laid out five aspects that encompass all facets of effective execution of spirituality in counseling. These five aspects include respect, responsibility, integrity, competence, and concern (Plante, 2007). Each of these five aspects entails a specific aspect of appropriately integrating spirituality in
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Given this information, it would be not only be a disservice to avoid spirituality with these individuals, it would be irresponsible as professionals. The APA states that therapists must collaborate with other professionals to be able to offer appropriate care when collaboration could beneficial. Traditionally this has been interpreted as working with teachers and physicians, but the recent movement toward the inclusion of spirituality in counseling has broadened the scope to clergy and other religious leaders, especially in regard to spiritual concerns (American Psychological Association, 2007). The responsibility aspect of this model involves knowing when to focus on spirituality in counseling and also knowing when not to focus on it. Not all clients are concerned about their spirituality and counselors must be open to the exploration of spirituality with their clients but also be sure not to force it when it is unwelcome. Keeping in mind what is best for the client is key in these circumstances and viewing the client’s spirituality along a continuum rather than right or wrong is

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