Integration of Spirituality in Therapy

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Counselor Education

The Department of Counselor Education in Fairfield's School of Education and Human Development offers two Advanced Training Certificates:

Integration Of Spirituality & Religion In Counseling

This 12-credit, 4-course program is based on the 14 competencies identified by the Association of Spiritual, Ethical and Religious Values in Counseling, a division of the American Counseling Association. The School of Education and Human Development's counseling accreditation entity, the Council on Accrediting Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), has encouraged programs to infuse and integrate these competencies into the curriculum. In addition, School of Education and Human Development students have shown a strong interest in learning more about how spirituality and religion comes into play for their clients.

The 4 required courses are:

  • COUN 5410 Grief & Loss Counseling: An introductory course in the exploration of conceptual models and clinical interventions related to grief and loss. The focus of this course is on developing sensitivity, knowledge, and practical skills working with grief, bereavement, and end of life issues in counseling and cross-cultural approaches. It is designed to inform students how loss is a pervasive, natural process of life and with skilled understanding and intervention can provide healing, meaning, and transformation to self and others. The impact of religious and spiritual belief systems on bereavement, grief, and loss will be covered. Family interventions and conceptualizing grief and loss from a systems perspective will be discussed. Three credits.
  • COUN 6515 Trauma and Crisis Intervention: This course addresses current theory, research, and models relevant to trauma and crisis intervention. Specific focus will be placed on understanding the role of spirituality, across cultures, in counseling children, men, women, and families. In addition, skills essential for response to trauma while working with groups will be addressed. Conceptualization from a systems perspective will be addressed. Forgiveness, hardiness, resiliency, and the dynamics of violence, religious and political, will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the role of spirituality while working with individuals and groups. An overview of the affective, behavioral, cognitive, and neurological sequelae in response to trauma and crisis will be discussed, with emphasis on skills essential for crisis intervention, including assessment of safety and security concerns, triage, lethality, mass disaster, death notification, suicide, murder, and natural disaster. In addition, models essential for the care of the caregiver will be identified. The course's instructional format will combine experiential, demonstration, and discussion methods. Active learning is essential to continued development. Three credits.
  • COUN 5446 Spirituality and Counseling: An introductory course in the exploration of developmental models and clinical interventions related to the interface of spirituality and counseling. The focus of this course is on developing knowledge and practical skills in working with spiritual and religious issues in counseling. Three credits.
  • COUN 6525 Spirituality and Wellness: This course provides a holistic approach to wellness integrating mind, body, and spirit interventions into the counseling process. An overview of wellness models, assessment tools, and spiritual practices as strength resources will be explored. Students will explore lifespan and cross cultural influences on wellness. Development of wellness and prevention plans and research on health and spirituality will be a focus. Three credits.

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