Counselor Education 639

COED 639: Counseling and Spirituality

Prerequisite: COED 610 and COED 611 or with permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3)   

This course will examine the interface of counseling and spirituality. Spirituality will be explored from multiple perspectives and orientations. Topics will include dynamics that interact with health, pathology, and development, intervention methods, counselor belief systems, mindfulness, spiritual competencies, and exploring and exercising each student’s unique approach to spirituality counseling.


Detailed Description of Course

The primary topics to be included in this course are: differences and similarities between spirituality and religion, transcultural themes/values in spiritual and religious paths, spirituality and human development, counselors and spiritual teachers, identifying and diagnosing spiritual problems, spirituality and supervision, assessment and spirituality, techniques for working with clients about spirtitual concerns, student self assessment, transpersonal counseling, and cross-cultural awareness and application for approaching spiritual/religious issues in counseling.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will consist of an interaction of the didactic and experiential.  There will be an expectation of active class involvement and participation, participation in small groups to assist in the personal awareness process, journal entries that will contain student responses to class readings, experiences, ideas, reactions, insights, and observations, a spiritual autobiography, critical book review of a student selected book examining spirituality, and a group presentation on a topic selected by each small group.  Additionally, there will an emphasis on the clinical application of material learned in class through the case study method and role-plays, extensive use of Web-CT for out-of-class student discussions, DVD's, and guest speakers. 


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
1. Recognize the relationship between counseling and the religious and spiritual needs of clients;
2. Understand the relationship between the Judeao-Christian spirituality to that of other religious and non-religious spiritualities;
3. Understand the ways in which psychological and spiritual dynamics interact in health, pathology and development;
4. Evaluate their own belief systems as they may relate to their professional counseling careers;
5. Understand and implement the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC) nine spiritual competencies;
6. Explore ways in which spiritual dynamics can be appropriately addressed in counseling;
7. Provide opportunity to reflect on one’s own spiritual journey from the earliest stages of pre-religious spiritual awareness;
8. Understand the interface between counseling and spirituality;
9. Critically analyze the recent research on religion and spirituality in the context of the practice of counseling; and
10. Demonstrate understanding of clinical application of spirituality/religion and associated counseling implications.


Assessment Measures

The course grade will be determined on the basis of student performance in each  of the following areas:

1. Class attendance and participation        
2. Participation in small groups                 
3. Journal entries                                     
4. Spiritual autobiography                         
5. Book review                                        
6. Group presentation


Other Information



Review and Approval
February 2007