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Spiritual Competency in Psychotherapy

Spiritual Competency in Psychotherapy

ISBN: 9780826199331
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While historically mental health clinicians were trained to refer spiritual issues to pastoral professionals, today the requirement for cultural competence in many dimensions may include those of a religious nature. Using a non-sectarian approach that can complement a wide range of psychotherapeutic orientations, this practical guide helps therapists and counselors gain competence in working with clients who are dealing with spirituality-related issues in their lives. Written by an experienced clinical psychologist who is also an ordained clergyman, the book describes how to work effectively and ethically with clients who present spiritual questions, problems, and unfinished spiritual or religious business. The book offers counselors and psychotherapists who lack experience or comfort in dealing with spiritual issues-especially those who have not worked out their own approach to spirituality-ways of understanding the nature of spirituality and orienting themselves to helping clients who wish to ""go there."" It provides basic information about spirituality and religiosity in traditional Western and Eastern constructs and discusses four ways in which spirituality can inform psychotherapy. It addresses specific issues therapists may encounter such as dealing with a client's crisis of uncertainty in faith, struggles with oppressive faith communities, grief and loss, and abuse at the hands of religious community leaders. Specific recommendations for providing therapeutic help and case examples drawn from actual practice provide practical guidelines for enhancing spiritual competency in psychotherapy. Key Features: Provides practical guidelines for counseling clients about a variety of spiritual issues for a diverse range of faith traditions Includes approaches that can be incorporated into a wide range of psychotherapeutic modalities Views spiritually as client-directed rather than as a defining construct in psychotherapy Helps clinicians to understand a client's spiritual perspectives in order to provide effective interventions Addresses specific spiritual or religious concerns that clients may present with illustrative case examples

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