Provide an alternate perspective on the influences of spirituality and religion on the client’s attitudes, perceptions, values, beliefs, and behaviors.

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Please no plagiarism and make sure you are able to access all resource on your own before you bid. One of the references must come from Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2016). You are expected to include at least one scholarly and peer-reviewed resource outside of those provided in the readings for each discussion post. Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings. I need this completed by 04/20/18 at 6pm. Please put some thought into each responses. There are 3 responses needed in this post. Support each response with references.

Respond by Day 5 to all of my colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

Provide an alternate perspective on the influences of spirituality and religion on the client’s attitudes, perceptions, values, beliefs, and behaviors.
Provide an alternative perspective on how spirituality and religion might affect how the counselor could conduct this counseling session.
Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made. If a post already has two responses, you must choose another post.

Please thoroughly read the Discussion Posting and Response Rubric attached to evaluate both the posts and responses. There are four components evaluated for each Discussion Post and Response.

1. Responsiveness to Discussion Question /9

2. Critical Thinking, Analysis, and Synthesis /9

3. Professionalism of Writing /5

4. Responsiveness to Peers /9

To get the highest grade possible, ask yourself if you have SURPASSED the following standards as you re-read your posts BEFORE submitting them:

1. Response to Peers: Do my peer responses indicate that I have read, thought about, and selectively responded to my colleague’s discussion posts in a complex way? Are my responses engaging, insightful, reflective of current events, or relevant to some experience I have had? Rather than just demonstrating agreement with the ideas presented by a colleague, or randomly quoting some resource in order to satisfy a formulaic inclusion of a citation and a reference, you are encouraged to provide an engaging response post which specifically builds upon the ideas of your colleague in an original and substantial manner, including relevant professional resources that go beyond what you are required to read for the course.

1. (A. Ola)

Spirituality is a connection with God, a higher power or an internal capacity that is transpersonal and “can be pursued outside of a particular religion ” (Sue & Sue, 2016, p. 345). Religion for some is the context in which people express their spirituality (Sue & Sue, 2016). Religious systems consist of tenets, doctrine, and practices of those beliefs that constitute the spiritual component of his or her cultural identity (Sue & Sue, 2016). For others religion is tomfoolery, a constraint instituted to oppress and restrain the individual spirit (Sue & Sue, 2016; Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Connections to religion change as people progress through their lifespan (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Katie’s Catholic beliefs began during childhood and changed as she developed (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Her interfaith marriage brought about the most significant impact on her faith as they navigated intercultural and familial differences, raising children and everyday life stressors (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006).

Spiritual or Religious Influences

Katie’s spiritual upbringing and religious beliefs influenced her attitudes, perceptions, values, and behavioral interactions. Being Catholic was apart of Katie’s cultural identity (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Katie, an American Catholic, was raised in a large close-knit, expansive German- Irish Catholic family. Interethnic differences within her upper-middle-class suburban Kentuckian family were looked down upon in a derogatory manner (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). “So one ethnic group was expected to take a backseat, and usually this ethnicity belonged to the wife” (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006, p. 218).

During her childhood and adolescence, Katie attended Catholic school and was indoctrinated to believe that Catholicism was the only true faith and all other religious beliefs were false (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). The tenets of her faith were ingrained into her long-term memory, but intellectually they were rituals built on hollow words and questionable precepts (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006).As she masqueraded through the stages of religious practices, in her childhood and early adolescence, Katie had a faith that did not have spiritual depth (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Changes in the Popes and Vatican Council during her high school years revitalized Katie’s faith and caused her to explore her spiritual growth (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Katie questioned, and did not own the long-standing perspective of her family, as she continued to develop her identity, she began to forge her own path (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Both in college and the workplace, her faith practices continued to evolve due to the freedoms offered by the sociopolitical reform taking place in the macrosystem and ecosystem following the Women’s Lib and Civil Rights Movements (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015; Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006).

Of all the influences on her life, love most impacted Katie interpersonally and spiritually (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). When Katie fell in love in her 30’s, it was to a reformed Jewish Chicagoan. She and Daniel experienced a spiritual reawakening that defied cultural and religious differences (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). They consulted a priest during their conjunctive stage of development about incorporating their intercultural and interfaith beliefs into marriage (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). She and Daniel did not want to abandon their faith and determined to raise their children according to both Catholic and Jewish traditions. From wedding planning on, they navigated through challenges and incorporated into their nuclear family important beliefs, practices and rituals from both faiths. Katie and Daniel did not abandon their families, bringing shame to them, but opened their cultural worldviews by doing the unconventional (Sue & Sue, 2016; Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Not many knew of the 1965 Nostra Aetate which opened the door for interfaith marriage between Jews and Catholics (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). When Katie married, she remained a Catholic, and Daniel a Reformed Jew. Their families challenged their ideas, but they were entering the conjunctive stage of faith development and were confident about the integration of their beliefs so their faith deepened (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006).

Katie knew that she and Daniel “were trailblazers, breaking apart and putting together pieces of hidden pathways to the Spirit” (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006, p. 226). Although Daniel allowed the “Promise” to raise their children as Catholics, so that he could marry Katie, they set their own rules within the marriage (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). They were innovators, embracing their differences, using their strengths and talents, and taking social action to build up other culturally marginalized interfaith relationships (Sue & Sue, 2016; Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Where there was a lack of resources, they created their own. From wedding nuptials to an interfaith couple support group, to Katie writing an interfaith curriculum for their children and starting The Family School based on Jewish-Catholic “religion-cultural competence in a two-faith community setting” (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006, p. 226). Through the course of their marriage and educating their children and others in their community, Daniel and Katie actualized a universalized stage of faith (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). They spent their time with forward-thinking people and worshiped at a parish that embraced cultural diversity as well as joined two new temples over the years. They shared their intercultural life experiences in the Catholic-Jewish Couples Group of Chicago; they helped to lead (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Katie and Daniel were social change agents and left a lasting intercultural impact at the religious, cultural Microsystemic and macrosystemic levels of their community. After 17 years of marriage, Katie considered herself both a Catholic and a Jew. She had found a vibrant interfaith in Catholicism and the “rich history, teachings, and traditions” of the very Jewish “faith that gave [hers] birth” (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006, p. 227).

Spirituality and Religious Beliefs Affect on Counseling

Counselors must be sensitive to the spirituality, developmental worldview, religious beliefs, cultural norms and practices of clients when facilitating counseling sessions (ACA, 2014; Sue & Sue, 2016; Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Counselors should consult with religious leaders, or practitioners who are familiar with the traditions of faith familiar to their clients (ACA, 2014, Standard C.2.e.; Sue & Sue, 2016). In collaboration with clients, goals can be set to help them develop any aspects of their interpersonal, spiritual, cognitive, and sociocultural identity that impedes their progression towards wholeness and a more balanced life (Hays, 2016; Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Tying the spiritual path of the clients into the therapeutic plan using the six-stage model of faith development, will help to clarify where clients are in their progression (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). To gain an understanding of the spiritual worldview of clients requires coming from a place of openness, actively listening nonjudgmentally and with curiosity, as the client processes their life stressors through the lens of their beliefs (Hays, 2016; Sue & Sue, 2016). Conducting a religious assessment of current, childhood and adolescent beliefs and the influence of religion on decision making, using the ADDRESSING format, can assist the counselor in avoiding judging, stereotyping, or negatively impacting clients (Hays, 2016; Sue & Sue, 2016; Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006).


Katie’s family of origin, religious liberty, interfaith marriage and socio-political changes had a reciprocal effect on Katie’s identity formation and impacted her spiritual development (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). At the root of her spiritual awaking that was birthed by her interfaith marriage, laid the desire to “take the ordinary human experience and somehow transform it into the extraordinary, whether in body, mind or spirit” (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006, p. 227). The educational, vocational and relational decisions of her life stemmed from this intercultural worldview. Daniel and Katie’s interfaith/intercultural beliefs and social justice practices challenged the mesosystem, macrosystemic and exosystemic ideals, laws and cultural norms to embrace diversity and inclusion (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015; Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). As a therapist, it is imperative to assess the past and present religious and spiritual experiences of clients (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Determining how spirituality and religion have impacted his or her development and current views will inform the counselor regarding whether to incorporate these beliefs into the therapeutic process (Hays, 2016). Counselors must determine to listen and ask questions, and do outside research or consultation when needed (Sue & Sue, 2016). It is vital for the counselor to assess client backgrounds and experiences relevant to clients and not to make biased presumptions that can ultimately harm them (ACA, 2014, Standard A.1.a., A.4.a.; Hays, 2016; Sue & Sue, 2016).


American Counseling Association (ACA). (2014). 2014 ACA code of ethics [White Paper]. Retrieved from

Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Hays, P. A. (2016). Addressing cultural complexities in practice: Assessment, diagnosis, and
therapy(3rd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2016). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (7th ed.).
Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Thomas, A. J., & Schwarzbaum, S. (2006). Culture and identity: Life stories for counselors and therapists. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

2. (A. Oxt)

Religion and spirituality, for many, can be a guide to how a person decides to live, believe, value, and behave (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). Whether a religion follows strict guidelines for values and beliefs or the religion is more flexible and open-minded, these guidelines affect how a person will behave and think as they develop throughout life. The purpose of this discussion is to evaluate the influences religion has on Katie and to evaluate how spirituality and religion might affect how a counselor facilitates a session.

Katie and Her Religious Influences

Katie comes from a strong Catholic religious background. She describes the Catholic religion as her “cultural identity”; influenced her feelings on belonging and individualism (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006, p. 218). At a young age, Katie felt obligated to participate in the uncompromising rules of the Church. As she grew into her teens, the world was also changing, Katie noticed these changes and seemed to appreciate the less rigid rules. Into her adulthood, she admitted to not following the Catholic practices to a tee but still found her religion to be quite important to her.

When Katie and Daniel decided to get married, their religions were a major influence on how they would celebrate the momentous wedding day. Daniel is Jewish and with Katie being Catholic, how these religions celebrate a marriage and the rituals involved are different. However, there are things about the two religions that are similar. Hays (2016), discusses a study on the “world’s major religions” found that all of the religions shared “humility, charity, and veracity” (p. 27). Hays goes on to add courage to the list, stating it takes courage to cross cultural boundaries. This is exactly what Katie and Daniel did, they found the courage to find clergy that would support the interfaith relationship. Because they valued their own religion and respected each other’s religion, they were able to create a unique event that intertwined their religions.

Further on in their life, Daniel and Katie taught their children both the Catholic and Jewish religions. Helping the children to develop their own beliefs, values, behaviors, and culture by helping them understand the background of both religions they came from. The influence of religion was important to both Katie and Daniel, they chose not convert to one or the other, and they became an interfaith couple and raised their children as such. Sue and Sue (2016) discuss that spirituality is an intrinsic part of people. So intrinsic, it was important to be not only part of Katie and Daniels union, but also a part of how they raised their children.

Religion and Spirituality: How it Affects a Counseling Session

Having a deep understanding of what is important to a client, their identity, religion, culture will aid in the therapeutic relationship and asking questions that will help the client more accurately and efficiently (Hays, 2016). In the situation with Katie and Daniel being of different faiths, a counselor needs to understand the importance of these faiths to each client as well as how it has influenced them in each of their lives. Correa and Sandage (2018) discuss a relational model as a way to view religion and spirituality in a context of a personal nature and a means to integrate these beliefs and behaviors into therapy. They go on to discuss how counselors can integrate religion into sessions “by showing well-attuned interest and relational responsiveness to a client’s particular spiritual and religious beliefs” and how that can be clinically relevant (p. 56). Katie and Daniel were quick to turn away from clergy who were not supportive of their interfaith relationship, this is very important to them. Therefore, a counselor must establish a level of interest in the way their interfaith relationship works and be supportive to be successful helping Katie and Daniel.


Correa, J. K., & Sandage, S. J. (2018). Relational spirituality as scaffolding for cognitive-behavioral therapy. Spirituality In Clinical Practice, 5(1), 54-63. doi:10.1037/scp0000155

Hays, P. A. (2016). Addressing cultural complexities in practice: Assessment, diagnosis, and therapy (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2016). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Thomas, A. J., & Schwarzbaum, S. (2006). Culture and identity: Life stories for counselors and therapists. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

3. (F. Pie)

When working with a client who possesses religious and spiritual beliefs it would be important as the counselor to understand what their beliefs are as detailed by individual. If the client’s counseling concern is relevant to what they believe and how they identify then this would have to be factored into their treatment plan. Some clients may not recognize how their beliefs have attributed to the way they view the world or respond but may come to a realization during counseling. It is important that the counselor allow the client to help them gain an understanding of their perspective without presumption. The counseling process coupled with the religious and spiritual beliefs of the client can be seen a tool to help strengthen them in achieving the balance and focus that they may desire (Sue & Sue, 2016). If the client sees their beliefs as an opposing factor then it would be necessary to assist them in arriving at development that is individually specific to them. The counselor does not have to share in the beliefs of the client but they would need to ensure that they have received enough understanding to respect, incorporate, and observe how their beliefs shape who they are (Hays, 2016).

Spirituality and Religious Influences on the Client

Katie shares her ideas and experiences on how religion and spirituality have influenced her life since she was a young child. For as long as she could remember there had been a focus on observing the constructs of religion which became a part of her cultural identity (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). She was raised under the Catholic faith which helped to direct her decision making process as she matured over the years. Katie described her religion as her primary cultural identity which caused her to feel both set apart and included (Thomas & Schwarzbaum, 2006). From her own self-description she views her life as multidimensional which included her race, economic status, ethnicity, southern upbringing, requirement for education, and diverse interfamily dynamics of the Catholic faith. She felt as if Catholicism made life easier enabling her to rightly decipher what was expected of her. Although as she grew she had some questions she was raised to be believe that what she was being taught was the emphatic truth with no other possibilities. When she became a married woman then she became confronted with assessing what she really believes and the differences in her husband’s Jewish faith. The greatest effect that her spirituality and religion had on all other aspects of who she is and the way she behaves is that there was no room for adjustments to accommodate her personal choice to believe, her desires, or the marriage that she wanted to build with her husband and best friend. Thankfully, she was open to embracing the interfaith characteristic of their relationship by being willing to leave behind any factors that would bring division between them.

When facilitating a counseling session with Katie it would be important for the counselor to ensure the creation of a positive therapeutic alliance (Hays, 2016). The counselor would also need to find ways to embrace the openness that Katie has to incorporating the interfaith differences to establish a unique family dynamic of religion and spirituality. Although it can be intimidating for some counselors to address religious and spiritual concerns with their client for fear of misunderstanding or offending the client by not being fully connected with their concern, it would still be necessary to address the concerns with the client. There are also some counselors who have a concerns for opening themselves up to crossing ethical boundaries with their client if they are not guiding them in a way that compliments their beliefs. There would be a need for the counselor to arrive at their own perspective on the place of religion and spirituality in the counseling session (Sue & Sue, 2016). It would further be necessary for the counselor to recognize their own bias and beliefs that may hinder them from engaging fully with the client. Since Katie and her husband were both confident in what they believed religiously the counselor would have the role of helping to arrive at decisions that work for them as a couple without outside influences from family or friends.


When counseling clients it can be beneficial to the counseling process to establish what the client’s belief, values, culture and perspective are early on. Religion and spirituality plays a large role in the lives of many individuals so it would be unlikely that the subject would never come up during a counseling session. The role that spirituality and religion has played for the client could have had effects of strength or feelings of being bound in some way. Whatever their experiences or viewpoint may be it would be to up the counselor to be sensitive and culturally aware as they guide them through the counseling process.


Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2016). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Hays, P. A. (2016). Addressing cultural complexities in practice: Assessment, diagnosis, and therapy (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Thomas, A. J., & Schwarzbaum, S. (2006). Culture and identity: Life stories for counselors and therapists. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Required Resources


· Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (2016). Counseling the culturally diverse: Theory and practice (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

o Chapter 7, “Barriers to Multicultural Counseling and Therapy: Individual and Family Perspectives” (pp. 215-250)

o Chapter 10, “Non-Western Indigenous Methods of Healing: Implications For Multicultural Counseling and Therapy” (pp. 321-351)

o Chapter 25, “Counseling for Individuals Living in Poverty” (pp. 705-723)

· Hays, P. A. (2016). Addressing cultural complexities in practice: Assessment, diagnosis, and therapy (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

o Chapter 5, “Understanding Clients’ Identities and Contexts” (pp. 79-99)

o Chapter 6, “Creating a Positive Therapeutic Alliance” (pp. 101-123)

· Thomas, A. J., & Schwarzbaum, S. (2006). Culture and identity: Life stories for counselors and therapists. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Culture and Identity: life stories for counselors and therapists, Volume / Edition by Thomas, A.J. and Schwarzbaum, S. Copyright 2006 by Sage Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.

o Chapter 12, “Katie’s Story: Catholic and Jewish? How Can It Be?” (pp. 217–237)

o Chapter 14, “Anthony’s Story” (pp. 263–279)


· Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Lifespan development course preview [Video]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 2 minutes.

Accessible player –Downloads– Download Video w/CC Download Audio Download Transcript


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