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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Clinicians’ Preparedness to Use Spirituality in Mental Health Counseling: An Appreciative Inquiry
by Manocchio, Victor, D.S.W., Capella University, 2019, 151; 27543122
Abstract (Summary)

The goal of this appreciative inquiry was to explore master’s level clinicians’ perceptions of their preparedness to use spirituality as a part of culturally competent practice and to provide insight into clinician preparedness for including spirituality in a clinical setting. In the literature, most clinicians said they were willing to use spirituality; however, they expressed that they did not feel they were prepared. For the purpose of this study, spirituality was not defined as religious, but what is unknowable about existence. This study addressed the following questions: What were the experiences of clinicians regarding spirituality training, and applicability in their practice? What were the barriers to using spirituality in culturally competent practice? What spirituality modalities did clinicians feel comfortable using? Data were collected using two qualitative interviews and a research journal. All of the eleven participants had at least a master's degree in a counseling field, were open to using spirituality in the clinical setting, were aged 18-65, and lived or worked in the northeastern state where the study took place. Through the use of thematic content analysis, eight major themes emerged. First, while there was satisfactory incorporation of spirituality in courses taught at religious universities, the consensus was that there was limited coverage in most masters degrees offered. Second, some participants belonged to religious professional organizations that offered continuing education in spirituality. Most, however, had not taken any continuing education courses in spirituality nor had seen any offered through secular organizations. Third, the majority stated they were comfortable with spiritual themes in clinical practice. Fourth, many discussed tangible ways to create an atmosphere for patients to discuss their spirituality as a part of treatment. Fifth, participants articulated that spirituality is part of who a person is, making comparisons to race or ethnicity. Sixth, most were willing to refer to a minister if needed and compared spiritual interventions to any other type of mental health modality. Seventh, the majority of participants agreed that including spirituality helped in some way: achieving treatment goals, improving coping skills, or having a better rapport between therapist and patient. Finally, clinicians suggested that a training would have to be broad to prepare for many faiths or spirituality in general, rather than different religions. As part of the outcome, this study shared suggestions with clinicians on how they can prepare to use and hone these skills already in practice. This study produced a continuing education seminar.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ahlman, Ruth
Commitee: Palloff, Ruth, Roland, Brian D
School: Capella University
Department: Harold Abel School of Psychology
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Spirituality, Mental health, Social work
Keywords: clinician, counseling, cultural competence, preparedness, religion, spirituality
Publication Number: 27543122
ISBN: 9781392894712
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