Clinical training can encourage therapists to explore their own family religious traditions and reflect on their own spiritual journeys (Roberts, 1999). Therapists may not be knowledgeable about the many, varied religious orientations of clients and are not trained to offer religious counseling. Yet clinical practice can be informed by the emerging literature on common beliefs and practices in families of various faith traditions (see, e.g., Almeida, 1996, on Hindu families; Butler & Harper, 1994, on religious Christian couples; Comas-Diaz, 1981, on Puerto Rican Espiritismo; Cornwall & Thomas, 1990, on Mormon families and communities; Daneshpour, 1998, on Muslim families). McGoldrick (see Chapter 9, this volume) stresses that culturally sensitive practice begins with awareness of the profound influence of core beliefs and an openness to learn from clients. As with other cultural matters, therapists need to openheartedly listen and explore spiritual concerns and beliefs that have profound implications for healing and growth.
Actual membership data reported by Christian church denominations throughout North America are gathered by the National Council of Churches of Christ and are presented in the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 1998, edited by Eileen Lindner.
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Publication information: Book title: Normal Family Processes: Growing Diversity and Complexity. Edition: 3rd. Contributors: Froma Walsh - Editor. Publisher: Guilford Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2003. Page number: 366.
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