VISTAS Spirituality and Counseling Issues

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.

Counseling a Terminally Ill Agnostic Seeking to Reclaim Spirituality: A Narrative Approach to Dying Well

Luisa Batthyany De La Lama and Luis De La Lama


In this paper we describe our use of narrative practices in helping David, the composite case of an agnostic, terminally ill client who seeks to die well by reexamining his “unfinished business” and his lost sense of spirituality. To help him find closure at the end of his life, we follow his wish of attempting to build a narrative and conceptual bridge from his current agnostic state, to the faith and spirituality of his youth, all while deliberately using his own language and symbolism in a narrative approach (Payne, 2006; White, 2006; White, 2007), that is also spiritually (Pargament, 2007), existentially (Van and Duerzen, 2006; Yalom, 1980) and constructively informed (Frantz, Farell & Trolley, 2002; Neimeyer, 2002; Neimeyer & Winter, 2007).

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