VISTAS Client Characteristics and Needs

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

The Spiritual Needs of the Dying: Best Practices for Professional Counselors

Darlene Daneker and Carol M. Smith


Interest in spiritual aspects of counseling has grown significantly, as evidenced by an increase in relevant articles since September 2001. An EBSCO Host database search indicated that 108 articles on “spirituality and counseling” were published each year from September 2000 to August 2002. From September 2004 to August 2005, 254 articles were published; a 100% increase from the same time periods in 2000-2002. Even so, less than 25% of these articles specifically address spiritual needs during dying or death. The experience of death is the epicenter of spirituality and has been cited as one reason for the existence of religion and spiritual beliefs (Axelrod, 1986, as cited in Smith, 1993).

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