Multicultural Training in Spirituality: An Interdisciplinary Review

By Hage, Sally M.; Hopson, Amy et al. | Counseling and Values, April 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Multicultural Training in Spirituality: An Interdisciplinary Review


Hage, Sally M., Hopson, Amy, Siegel, Matthew, Payton, Gregory, DeFanti, Elizabeth, Counseling and Values


Is spiritual diversity a neglected dimension in preparation for multicultural competency? The authors present an interdisciplinary overview of research related to multicultural training in spirituality and religion to address this issue. Findings indicate that counseling program leaders have minimal preparation in spiritual and religious diversity and interventions. In addition, spiritual and religious themes appear to be minimally included in counseling program curricula. Some evidence also indicates that religious and spiritual diversity is not considered as important in multicultural training as are other kinds of diversity. A movement to include spirituality and religious content in accreditation guidelines, however, points to a possible shift to expand preparation for religious and spiritual competency. The article concludes with implications for counselor preparation and supervision.

**********

Although research indicates that most counseling professionals support the principle of expanding multicultural training to include spiritual and religious aspects of diversity, it is uncertain whether counselor preparation programs actually do so. Graduate programs may be slow to adapt their training curricula to meet new educational requirements when faculty themselves lack competency in these areas. For the benefit of clients and their communities, mental health professionals need to obtain specialized knowledge and preparation in spiritual and religious aspects of diversity (Richards & Bergin, 2000a).

Reluctance on the part of programs to integrate content related to spiritual and religious diversity into training for mental health professionals is not new. Historically, an effort was made to define psychology and mental health in opposition to spirituality and religious experience (Freud, 1927; Watson, 1924/ 1983). Although a minority of early psychological theorists valued the exploration of religion and psychology (e.g., James, 1902; Jung, 1936), psychology as a whole portrayed religious beliefs and behaviors negatively and situated itself within a 19th-century naturalistic science that highlighted deterministic, reductionistic, and positivistic assumptions (Richards & Bergin, 1997). Philosophical underpinnings for the exclusion of spiritual and religious experience from the counseling field have, however, recently begun to shift (Zinnbauer, Pargament, & Scott, 1999). A zeitgeist is now emerging that supports the infusion of the spiritual dimension into clinical theory, practice, education, and research (Bergin, 1980; Brawer, Handal, Fabricatore, Roberts, & Wajda-Johnston, 2002; Fukuyama & Sevig, 1999; Pargament, 1997; Yarhouse & Fisher, 2002).

The impetus for this movement appears to come from several developments in the fields of counseling and counseling psychology as well as in U.S. society. The first development is the growth of behavioral health research that has linked clients' spirituality and religiosity with improved health outcomes (W. R. Miller & Thoresen, 2003). A second important development is greater awareness of the prominence of religion and spiritual issues in the life of the general population. Gallup polls have found that two thirds of Americans, when faced with a serious problem, would prefer to see a therapist who personally holds spiritual values and beliefs (Lehman, 1993). Most people who were questioned further indicated that they would prefer a therapist who integrates their values and beliefs into counseling and therapy (Gallup & Bezilla, 1994). The American Counseling Association (ACA) acknowledges the importance of spirituality and religion in clients' lives in its 2005 ACA Code of Ethics by pointing out, for example, the meaning of religious and spiritual support networks (Section A.1d.).

A third development is the significance of the multicultural competencies in the counseling literature and their significance as a foundation for counseling work (Arredondo et al.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Multicultural Training in Spirituality: An Interdisciplinary Review
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?