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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Spirituality as a dimension of family therapists' clinical training

Author: Haug, I.E.
Author Background:
Date 12/1998
Type Journal
Journal Title: Contemporary-Family-Therapy
Volume/Pages 20(4): 471-483
Subject Matter Spirituality-; Family-therapy; Therapists-; Training
Abstract From its psychoanalytic beginnings, therapy training has emphasized the crucial role the self of the therapist plays in the effectiveness of therapy. Attention initially focused on therapists' personal history and vulnerabilities and later included an exploration of their relationship style. Less emphasis has been placed on analyzing therapists' belief and meaning systems, which inescapably influence their clinical conceptualizations, attitudes, and behaviors. This article defines spirituality as attributions of a personal nature that give meaning to life events, help transcend difficult experiences, maintain hopefulness, and lead to behaviors that honor connectedness. The author proposes a rationale for including the spiritual dimension in therapy and therapy training and steps graduate training programs and supervisors may take to raise therapists' spiritual understandings. (Journal abstract.)