What does the article suggest about including client spirituality or religious beliefs in therapy?
In Assessing Religion and Spirituality in Counseling, their belief is that a religious and spiritual assessment should be conducted before counseling begins. This process of assessment should be done during counseling interviews. The authors recommend assessment questions that can be asked during clinical interviews or included on written intake questionnaires (Richards, Bartz & O’Grady, 2009). After these spiritual assessments have been completed, counselors are able to determine what sort of treatment is best for the client. These assessment are instrumental to both the counselor and the client. The counselor is able to pin point and understand their client’s worldview, gain respect for their religious values, as well as indicate which interventions will be the most helpful to the client.
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?
Christian counselors do not presume that all clients want or will be receptive to explicit, spiritual Judeo-Christian interventions in counseling and therefore, obtain consent that honors client choice, receptivity to these practices, and the timing and manner in which these elements are introduced (AACC Code of Ethics, 2014).
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 job of a counselor is to get to know the client as well as possible. The purpose of getting to know your client is better assist them is whatever issues are presented during their time of treatment with one another. The first step I would take is to simply ask questions on their background and upbringing. These questions would consist, cultural background, how they were raised, what are their beliefs as a whole. This portion would be me as a counselor becoming more culturally competent for the benefit of the client. My second step would be to find out their spirituality as well as their religion. Often times we get these two terms mixed, when they both have different meanings. Spiritualty is an important cultural variable for many individuals and refers to the connections individuals have with themselves and the universe as a whole (Hays & Erford, 2012). On the other hand you have religion which is the acts or practices an individual may partake according to their faith. Lastly, I would find out the basis in which the client needs assistance in and create a treatment plan accordingly. We would thoroughly assess the treatment plan and adjust as we go if needed.
AACC Code of Ethics. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://aacc.net/files/AACC Code of Ethics – Master Document.pdf
Hays, D. G., & Erford, B. T. (2014). Developing multicultural counseling competence: A systems approach. Boston: Pearson.
Richards, P. S., Bartz, J. D., & O’Grady, K.,A. (2009). Assessing religion and spirituality in counseling: Some reflections and recommendations. Counseling and Values, 54(1), 65-79. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/207593344?accountid=12085
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