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.
A Conceptual Model for Integrating Spirituality Into the Diagnosis and Counseling Treatment Plan
Kathleen R. Arveson
Why is the topic of spirituality or religion different from other issues? Why is it that many counselors can freely talk about sexual abuse, any number of addictions, or even suicide with their clients but hit a wall when it comes to the spiritual dimension? Bergin (1983) suggested that most psychologists, social workers, and mental heath providers have had no instruction in the role that religion plays in the lives of their clients. Frame (2003) pointed out six reasons for this omission: (1) the tenuous relationship between psychology and religion; (2) the conflict between the assumptions of the scientific world and those of religion and spirituality; (3) the association of religion and spirituality with pathology; (4) the belief that religion and spirituality are the prerogative of the clergy and other spiritual leaders; (5) a lack of training regarding how to integrate religion and spirituality into clinical practice; and (6) mental health practitioners’ own unresolved religious or spiritual issues. (p. 9)