VISTAS Substance Abuse

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.

Strategies for the Competent Integration of Spirituality Into Addictions Counseling Training and Supervision

Keith Morgen, Oliver J. Morgan, Craig Cashwell, and Geri Miller


Spirituality is widely covered in both the counseling (e.g., Benda & McGovern, 2006; Cashwell & Young, in-press; Morgan, 2007; Sori-Ford, 2008; Young, WigginsFrame, & Cashwell, 2007) and addictions counseling literatures (e.g., Cashwell, Clarke, & Graves, 2009; Ciarrocchi & Brelsford, 2009; Cook, 2004; Dyslin, 2008; Juhnke, Watts, Guerra, & Hsieh, 2009; Laudet, Morgen, & White, 2006; Morgan, 2009; Morgan & Jordan, 1999). The inclusion of addictions counseling within the latest standards of the Committee on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP; 2009) presents new challenges and opportunities to improve the profession, especially in the area of spirituality. The CACREP addictions counseling standards highlight the importance of spirituality in two sections. Section C.4. states the need to understand “the role of spirituality in the addiction recovery process” (p. 18) and section G.3. states that an addictions counselor needs to understand “the assessment of biopsychosocial and spiritual history” (p. 22). What does it mean, however, to understand or assess spirituality? Similar to the debate on how to include spirituality into the counselor education curriculum (e.g., Briggs & Rayle, 2005; Curtis & Glass, 2002; Ingersoll,1997; Leseho 2007) there still exists questions on how to effectively integrate spirituality into addictions counselor training (Morgen, 2009). Perhaps it is not a surprise then, given the possibilities and the explosion of knowledge available in this realm, that students and even more experienced counselors are somewhat nervous about how to incorporate spirituality into addictions counseling training and practice, even if they are convinced that it is a good idea.

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