HSCO 509 DB forum 3

What does the article suggest about including client spirituality or religious beliefs in therapy?

What do the codes of ethics enforced by the American Counseling Association and the American Association of Christian Counselors instruct about using spirituality in counseling?

What steps or methods would you use to solicit the religious or spiritual beliefs of clients and to determine how important spirituality is to the client?

The article I chose to discuss explains that integrating spirituality or religion into therapy is definitely necessary in multicultural counseling. The article describes how counselor trainees’ feel that spirituality training should be more present in the multicultural competency. Although it is agreed that spiritual/religion awareness is integral in multicultural counseling, the complexities of training and discussion in the domain is lacking. The counselor trainees’ argued that they do not feel prepared enough to discuss spirituality and religion with culturally diverse clients. According to Magaldi-Dopman (2014), participants in the study believed they would benefit from developing diverse skills to help clients explore and negotiate spiritual/religious/nonreligious identify issues that may come in conflict with other aspects of identity (pg. 202). Overall the article shows that spirituality and religion integration into counseling has grown rapidly and the ACA is working to make changes to incorporate the necessary competencies that are needed for the preparedness of the multicultural counselor. Although more trainings and framework is necessary we are on the right foot to making all clients feel comfortable.

The ACA code of ethics states that the counselor will not pose their own values, attitudes or beliefs on clients especially if their views can be deemed as discriminatory. The AACC describes that counselors should receive consent from clients before discussing spirituality in the counseling setting. The AACC also states that if the Christian Counselor does not feel knowledgeable in a religion he or she should seek out additional help from a network of professionals they are familiar with.

In the initial visit with a client I will have them complete a counseling agreement. Along with ethical standards and setting expectations I will have the client disclose their religious beliefs. It’s important to let the client know that is their decision if they want to discuss spirituality or religion in the counseling session. After assessment and building a relationship we will discuss the clients’ spirituality and ways in which I think discussing it can be beneficial in their healing and growth process. I will make sure not to interject my own beliefs in the counseling session, but be more of a listener.


American Association of Christian Counselors. (2014). AACC code of ethics [PDF]. Retrieved from http://aacc.net/files/AACC%20Code%20of%20Ethics%20-%20Master%20Document.pdf

American Counseling Association. (2005). ACA code of ethics [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/library-archives/archived-code-of-ethics/codeethics05.pdf?sfvrsn=4

Magaldi-Dopman, D. (2014). An “Afterthought”: Counseling Trainees’ Multicultural Competence Within the Spiritual/Religious Domain. Journal Of Multicultural Counseling & Development, 42(4), 194-204.