The professional counselor can describe and apply various models of spiritual and/or religious development and their relationship to human development.

models of spiritual and religious development

For more information on the ASERVIC Spiritual Competencies, visit the ASERVIC Website.

Visit these websites for more information on the American Counseling Association or the Virginia Counselor’s Association.

Competency Six

This week’s ASERVIC competency, Competency Six, focuses on the academic nature of counselor proficiency in spirituality and religion. Counseling professionals are expected to be familiar with and utilize the various models of spiritual and religious development, and be able to integrate these models with the development of the individual.

“…describe and apply various models

ASERVIC Competency Six

Just as counselors are expected to know and be able to integrate human growth and development models, group process models, and theoretical models, counseling professionals must also be knowledgeable in the development of client spirituality and religiosity.

Many counseling professionals will have likely received training in their graduate or post-graduate programs regarding models of spirituality and religion, but many may have not received such a comprehensive training. It is the counseling professional’s responsibility to pursue and maintain competency in this area.

Even if you have received training in spiritual and religious models of development in your formal academic programming, it is likely that researchers have added to this knowledge base since your graduation. Continuing education is a requirement in the counseling field, the topics of spirituality and religion included.

While many counseling professionals are likely familiar with many of the spiritual and religious models of development, many might not be able to use and apply them during session. This application is key.

Without application, understanding a model is, quite frankly, pointless. Counseling is considered an art. To be able to perform the art of counseling well, the counseling professional must be able to engage with the necessary techniques.

Application of spiritual and religious developmental models is the apex of the art of counseling and science of psychology meet.

Working with Clients

Application of models of spiritual and religious development can help our therapeutic alliance, improve the client’s understanding of their spirituality, and promote competency in the field. Using models of spiritual and religious development in the counseling session allows the counseling professional to utilize best practices.

These spiritual and religious developmental models have been heavily researched and are backed in both theory and practice. Using fully developed models with clients in the counseling session gives evidence for your approach of spiritual and religious integration.

What Steps Have You Taken?

What opportunities have you pursued to meet ASERVIC Competency Six?

  • Are you familiar with the prominent spiritual and religious models of development?
  • Have you begun to implement these models with that of human developmental models?

If not, check out some of these resources from the American Counseling Association or get involved with ASERVIC or VA-ASERVIC via membership and events.

More from VA-ASERVIC:

  • ASERVIC Competencies Series: Competency 14
    This week on the VA-ASERVIC resources page, we discuss ASERVIC Competency 14 and address the importance of including theory and research in the counseling session with our clients.
  • ASERVIC Competencies Series: Competency 13
    This week, we discuss competency 13, which addresses the specific techniques used within the counseling session. Previously, we have discussed the counselor’s limitations, attitude of acceptance, clinician’s choice of language, recognizing spiritual themes, intake, and diagnosis, but today we get to the meat of the spirituality subject – counseling techniques.
  • ASERVIC Competencies Series: Competency 12
    As we discussed in previous weeks, the client’s spiritual and religious beliefs can directly impact the pieces of the counseling process, such as the intake session, counseling rapport, and diagnosis. ASERVIC Competency 12 addresses how the client’s spiritual and religious beliefs should also affect the goals that the client wants to address.

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