Reflection On Religion And Spirituality

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Religion and spirituality, or lack thereof, can have a profound impact on a client’s views towards the world, healing, and counseling itself. Vieten et. al (2016) stated that, “spirituality and religion substantially color the way people understand themselves and the world around them,” (p. 93). As counselors, it is important to understand the role that religion and spirituality can have for our clients within the therapeutic relationship. As a future addictions counselor, spirituality is a huge part of recovery process for addicted individuals, oftentimes spurring huge changes in one’s outlook on spirituality within their own lives. My own personal recovery journey showed me the enormous disconnect I had in my understanding of what I saw …show more content…
The most profound experience shared in her story is that of her interfaith marriage. This forced her to examine the world from a different perspective. Cate (2006) stated that, “if religion is the lens through which we tease out our faith and spirituality and shape our focus of how we see the realities of our world, then today I wear bifocals. Intermarriage woke me up spiritually,” (p. 227). Cate is now making decisions for herself and her family, such as creating an interfaith school, religious institution affiliations for herself and family, as well as personal exploration from an awakened point of view. Her enlightenment to broader spiritual principles and fearless examination can be summed up when she stated, “dynamic encounters challenge us, and being shaken up makes for personal, professional, or spiritual transformation. First, you have to open all your many eyes to fully see. Different lenses can take the lead at different moments. Only then will you move beyond life’s barriers into the realm of the possible,” (p. 228). This is a far cry from the isolated, North Kentuckian Catholic she once was as a child, all as a result of the catalyst of her interfaith …show more content…
Because Cate is extremely sensitive to exploring spiritual aspects of her world and understanding of life, a counselor who is not familiar with either of these religions may avoid the topic. This may be due to a lack of training on incorporating spirituality within counseling, or due to a negative bias towards certain religions or spiritual ideals (Vieten et. al, 2016). There may also be some confusion regarding the ethical implications of discussing religion and spirituality within the counseling relationship. Vieten et. al (2016) stated that, “another factor contributing to the widespread lack of training in religious and spiritual competencies may be a lack of commonly agreed upon guidelines for addressing spiritual and religious based practices in clinical practice,” (p. 95). Some counselors may be too concerned with adhering to Code A.4.b in the ACA Code of Ethics (2014) regarding a counselor’s personal values and beliefs, that they may not adhere to ethical codes relating to multicultural considerations. This could all be a direct result of lack of experience and training on different approaches within the specific realm of religion and

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