There is a strong tradition of attention to relationship factors in the field of counseling. The research on the importance of the relationship and adapting to client factors continues to grow, supporting the importance of professional multicultural competence. The field of counseling, specifically within the United States context, has focused on Multicultural Counseling Competencies with more recent emphasis on social justice through the Multicultural and Social Justice Counseling Competencies. Within these competencies, spirituality and religion are mentioned as multicultural components to consider as potentially salient to clients. Yet, there has been less emphasis on ways to adapt counseling to a client’s spirituality and religion compared to other multicultural components of one’s identity, such as race, gender, and culture. Historically, a lack of training, fear of causing offense, or concerns about influencing clients, resulted in clients’ spirituality and religion being overlooked far too often in counseling. Despite this tendency, recent clinical evidence on relational responsiveness identifies the adaptation of counseling to a client’s spirituality and religion as highly effective. In this article, the authors discuss how adapting counseling to a client’s spirituality and religion, in relation to all multicultural factors salient to the client, enhances relational responsiveness and treatment effectiveness. The authors also discuss the implications for training, supervision, and practice.
Evans, Amelia L., and Jennifer Koenig Nelson. 2021. The Value of Adapting Counseling to Client’s Spirituality and Religion: Evidence-Based Relationship Factors. Religions 12: 951. https://doi.org/ 10.3390/rel12110951