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 Impact of a Spirituality Interest Group on Counselor Development
Nikki Renee Ruffin and Scott A. Wickman
This study's purpose was to investigate (a) how participation in a group integrating spirituality and religion with professional counseling affected personal and professional development of master’s and doctoral level students in a counseling graduate program and (b) what effect, if any, participating in the group had on their ability to integrate religion and spirituality into their counseling practice. In addition, we were interested in examining how taking part in this two-semester spirituality interest group had changed participants' multicultural awareness and sensitivity in regard to working with clients with different belief systems. We speculated that multicultural awareness and sensitivity would also increase as a result of counselors-in-training honing their own spiritual development in order to help clients do so as well. Our goal was to investigate whether a group format could impact counselors' personal and professional development, ability to explore inner personal belief systems, grow in their own spiritual development, and, as a result, facilitate client exploration of these same issues.