Religious and Spiritual Issues in Counseling: Applications across Diverse Populations

Religious and Spiritual Issues in Counseling: Applications across Diverse Populations

Religious and Spiritual Issues in Counseling: Applications across Diverse Populations

Religious and Spiritual Issues in Counseling: Applications across Diverse Populations

Synopsis

Religious and Spiritual Issues in Counseling is a comprehensive resource for counselors, psychotherapists and psychologists seeking to understand and incorporate the spiritual dimension of a client's person, and to use this understanding in developing successful intervention strategies with clients. Including case studies and exercises for self-exploration, this book covers specific groups, such as the elderly, the homeless as well as multicultural populations. Human development concerns are integrated into the book and address the changing role that spirituality plays throughout the lifespan.

Excerpt

Samuel T. Gladding

Wake Forest University

Mary Thomas Burke was already a legend in the field of counseling when I entered the profession. I first met her in a receiving line for newcomers at the North Carolina Counseling Association's annual conference in Greensboro in the early 1970s. I do not know what position she held in counseling at the time; most probably she was president. What stands out in my mind then and now is her presence. It was powerful, kind, and pervasive. After shaking her hand for the first time I thought, “I've met a good and important person.” I was right.

Mary Thomas held numerous and significant posts during her life. She did so in a productive and gracious way. Yet it is her presence that I remember most and have never stopped experiencing. I interacted numerous times with her, especially upon returning to North Carolina in 1990 after a nine-year departure for academic appointments elsewhere. She was always personable, purposeful, persuasive, and to-the-point. Once she convinced me to give a three-hour workshop on spirituality and counseling. It was not a subject on which I considered myself an expert. In fact, I literally and metaphorically sweated to find enough material to construct my presentation so that my novice status would not be noticeable, because I was sure she would be in the audience (which she was). I think that that assignment and others like it were Mary Thomas's way of helping me grow and get beyond my comfort zones. For that I will always be grateful and I will always be glad that I found it difficult, if not impossible, to say “no” to her requests.

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