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.
Spirituality in Rehabilitation Counseling
Daniel J. Smith
It has been argued that by ignoring or avoiding spiritual issues, a counselor not only endangers the therapeutic relationship but also disallows possible interventions in this area (Kelley, 1995). Spirituality implies belief in a transcendental reality which may or may not incorporate a formal religion (Shafranske, 2000). Byrd (1998) illustrated the distinction between religion and spirituality by indicating that “spirituality means openness to a higher power, and to one’s self and others. Religion, on the other hand, implies institutions, denominations, charges, and synagogues as well as doctrines, dogmas, and creeds” (p. 25). As this definition suggests, it is possible for a client to present as spiritual and not religious, religious and not spiritual, spiritual and religious, or neither spiritual nor religious. It becomes the task of the counselor to identify the degree of spiritual development and/or religious 204 affiliation present in both the client and themselves and how this may affect the counseling relationship, process, and objectives. Survey data of counselors, educators and the general population show spirituality and religion to be therapeutically pertinent, ethically congruent, meaningful subject matter for counselors.