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ACA 2018 Conference & Expo Sessions

360 - The Future of Spiritual Inclusion in Counseling and Counselor Education: A Panel Discussion

Apr 29, 2018 7:30am ‐ Apr 29, 2018 8:30am


Spirituality (with/without religion) is a central component of wellness. Yet, counselors/educators still struggle to competently integrate spirituality/religion into their work. This session will examine the impact of recent “conscience clause” legislation on helping clients and educators embrace spirituality/religion in the clinic and classroom from a spiritually inclusive perspective. Presenters will discuss strategies to resolve values conflicts with clients and among counselors and supervisors/educators.

Recent legislation permitting refusal of clients based on counselors’ personal beliefs challenges the core ideas of how counselors set aside personal issues, including those connected to spirituality and religion (S/R). Since S/R in counseling is often tricky anyway, how might the changing landscape on values impact spirituality? The direction of these issues is uncertain, but this panel discussion of experts will look at ways to advance spiritual inclusion in counseling within the current and future landscape of our profession.

Learning Objectives:

  • To explore barriers/challenges of working with spirituality in counseling in the current political landscape.
  • To discuss key ways to infuse spiritual inclusion in counseling and counselor education, respectfully and ethically.
  • To explore how to advance spiritual inclusion within the future of the counseling profession.


  • Kevin C. Snow, PhD, Assistant Professor of Counselor Education, Marywood University
  • Anita A. Neuer Colburn, PhD, Core Faculty, M.S. in CMHC Program, Walden University
  • Gregory R. Sandman, MEd, Doctoral Candidate, University of Wyoming
  • Cyndi Matthews, PhD, Program Coordinator, Counseling Lecturer, Licensed Professional Counselor, University of North Texas at Dallas; Self Employed

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