Recent research has shown correlations between spirituality, religion, and mental health. And although “spirituality” is becoming a more familiar term in the practice of counseling, formal attention to ethical issues related to “spirituality and religion in the practice of counseling” has only emerged in the last several years. Since ethical practice is related to counselor competence, this workshop will provide an overview of current trends in the field with a specific focus on counselor competencies and standards established by national professional organizations. Particular attention will be paid to diversity and cultural world view, assessment, transformative experiences, and spiritual/religious practices within the context of professional counseling that may also present ethical dilemmas. As part of an interactive agenda, participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their own spiritual and religious history, discuss potential ethical issues relative to the competencies, and utilize an ethical decision-making model for resolution.
8:30 Introductions, Presentation of the Association for Ethical, Religious, Spiritual, and Values in Counseling Competencies and Discussion; Ethical Decision Making Model
10:15 – Break
10:30 Spiritual Autobiography, culture, and counter-transference; “When your client’s values are not your own”
1:00 Ethical Issues in Assessment and Diagnosis; “What to do with transformative spiritual experiences and spiritual emergencies”
2:30 Myth and Ritual – Ethical Issues: “Is it ever ok to pray with your client or to pray for your client?”
3:30 Discussion and Closing Comments
1. Participants will learn the importance of spiritual/religious self-awareness in regard to the prevention of ethical issues in counseling
2. Participants will become familiar with the ASERVIC competencies as well as ethical standards relative to spirituality and religion in the practice of counseling.
3. Participants will increase awareness of potential ethical issues that may arise during assessment, diagnosis, and treatment regarding spiritual and religious issues in counseling.
4. Participants will learn the importance and use of an ethical decision-making model relative to spiritual and religious issues in counseling.
About the Presenter:
John Yasenchak, Ed.D., LCPC, LADC, is Associate Professor in the Graduate Counseling and Human Relations Program, Husson University, Bangor Maine. He is also a Maine licensed clinical counselor, licensed substance abuse counselor, and certified clinical supervisor. For twenty years John served as clinical supervisor for the Penobscot Indian Nation Counseling Services and was adjunct assistant professor in counselor education at the University of Maine. In addition to his doctorate in counselor education, John also holds an MA in philosophy from Fordham University. With a long background in spirituality and theological training, he taught philosophy at Loyola University in Baltimore for several years and worked as both pastoral minister and spiritual director. John is Past- President of the Maine Counseling Association and served as Chair for the North Atlantic Region of the American Counseling Association. He is on the editorial board for the Association for Spiritual, Ethical, Religious, and Values Issues in Counseling (ASERVIC). He recently received the ASERVIC award for meritorious service and is the author of a chapter in a recent text book describing transformative counselor experiences.