Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Journal of Religion, Spirituality & Aging

Article excerpt

JOURNAL OF RELIGION, SPIRITUALITY & AGING

Adams, D. (2009).

Counseling and spiritual formation

Vol. 21, 131-141

As the Baby Boom generation ages, the number of older adults in America is sky-rocketing. This leaves society with a unique opportunity and challenge in caring for this generation. Adams extended this opportunity to both counselors and the church, noting the potential to integrate psychotherapy and spiritual direction in helping this generation.

In attempting to understand older adults, Adams explained that most seek therapy either because of depression or a loss of functioning. She described depression in older adults as often manifesting with hopelessness, isolation, and a sense of worthlessness or lack of purpose. Adams noted that it is important to distinguish whether these symptoms are truly a result of depression or someone who is simply bored with life. Either way, she argued that the combination of counseling and spiritual formation can be helpful.

Adams defined spiritual formation as "the process of recognizing and realizing God's unique purpose in one's life" (p. 134-135). She noted that focusing on issues of one's faith or relationship with God, their unique gifts and talents, and how these gifts and talents can still be utilized to help others can be an important part of helping older adults in the process of spiritual formation. …

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