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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Spiritual issues in family therapy: a graduate-level course

Author: Patterson, J; Hayworth, M; Turner, C; Raskin, M
Author Background: Sharp Healthcare Family Practice Residency Program, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110-2492
Date 4/2000
Type Journal
Journal Title: Journal-of-Marital-and-Family-Therapy
Volume/Pages 26(2): 199-210
Subject Matter Practicum, Spirituality-; Family-therapy; MSW-(Master-of-Social-Work); Graduate-students
Abstract With the advent of the biopsychosocial approach in family therapy, the domain of spiritual issues is increasingly being recognized as important to families. This article describes a graduate level seminar on Spiritual Issues in Family Therapy at the Univ. of San Diego that offers family therapy students the opportunity to examine issues of spirituality, religion, and meaning and their place in therapy. One premise of the course is that research has demonstrated that most clients consider their spiritual life to be relevant to personal problems and would prefer a therapist who is comfortable with such topics. The goals of the course include (1) training in opening a dialogue with individuals and families about spiritual issues and discerning when referral may be appropriate; (2) expanding an awareness of wisdom traditions through use of comparative religions material; and (3) identifying from current practice many of the spiritual issues that may arise in the clinical setting. (Journal abstract.)