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In Weld and Eriksen (2007), the authors note the increasingly important role that spirituality and religion plays in counseling generally. In addition to describing the increasing prevalence of faith-based treatment in the United States, the authors take the next step by noting certain normative problems that arise with using religion and faith heavily in a counseling session…
Using prayer as an intervention within sessions requires a delicate awareness of an individual client on the part of the counselor. Likewise, with a secular counselor, there is a potential for weakness in the intervention that might render it ineffective or, even worse, harmful for the individual client. With these considerations in mind, the authors consider ethical mandates, articulate concerns, and make recommendations with respect to how to safeguard faith-based interventions from becoming useless or harmful and how to utilize those methods effectively. The authors begin their consideration with a brief description of the prevalence of prayer and spirituality within the counseling community of the United States. Among the highlights of these considerations is the fact that a vast majority of Christian-based counseling agencies (76 percent to 100 percent) believe that prayer is an appropriate intervention for clients, in contrast to 11 percent of secular agencies believing that prayer is appropriate for clients. Within the marriage and family counseling community, a vast majority (95 percent) believe that spiritual and mental health is related. However, only a slight majority (62 percent) actually utilized the spiritual dimension in their practice. ...
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