Book Review: Spirituality in Counseling and Psychotherapy
Johnson, Rick. (2013). Spirituality in counseling and psychotherapy: An integrative approach that empowers clients. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Spirituality in counselling and psychotherapy offers a practical exploration of the understanding and integration of spirituality in contemporary counselling. It is a practical text guiding the reader through an awareness of self and the role of spirituality in counselling theories. The author, Rick Johnson is the Department chair of counsellor education at the Portland State University with a scholarly interest in the effect of family experience on psychosocial development in adolescence and adulthood, and the integration of psychological and spiritual health.
Whilst the spiritual well-being of clients has always been acknowledged as part of the therapeutic environment, in recent years the growth of the mindfulness movement has allowed for a resurgence of interest in different approaches and techniques. Spirituality in counselling and psychotherapy presents the topic of spirituality in an open manner encompassing all spiritual and religious persuasions. The author highlights that the target audience for this book is therapists looking for practical integration of psychology and spirituality with their existing theoretical orientation. Many therapists feel ill-equipped to work with clients on a spiritual level — this text presents a model that can be utilised from a variety of therapy standpoints.
Each chapter draws upon the author’s experience, both personally and professionally. Case examples and vignettes illustrate how spirituality can be integrated in to the process. Johnson outlines seven central premises that underpin the model presented throughout the book, with each covered in greater depth throughout the chapters. The final chapter on the book focuses on differentiation with an emphasis on the counsellor thus highlighting the value of the therapist’s psychological well-being.
Overall a very interesting book that is of use to therapists on a personal and professional level. Although written by a psychologist, the text has relevance to a variety of mental health professionals.
Review by Anda Davies
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