The Role of Spirituality in Therapeutic Practices
In this article we aim to explore the role that religion and spirituality can play in therapeutic practices. We looked at the differences that can be established between spirituality and religion and we underlined the ways in which several authors consider that they are overlapping or blending into one another. According to the authors investigated, religion and spirituality may support the process of counseling by infusing both the client and the therapist with a set of values and principles that strengthen their relationship and improve the therapeutic process. In order to impress upon both the client and the counselor the benefit of religious/spiritual approaches, emphasis should be placed on the religious, spiritual and professional competences of the latter. However, emphasis must be laid on the religious beliefs and practices brought by the client to the therapeutic situation, too. In order to diminish some of the negative effects of the religious/spiritual intervention, a major input is provided by respect as a central value for the therapeutic dialogue and relationship. Yet, if religion and spirituality can play an important role in supporting patients in various forms of treatment, they should be introduced as complementary elements to the therapeutic intervention, for they cannot replace the medical practice, the clinical interventions or counseling.
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