Integrating Religion and Spirituality into Counseling

There is a growing recognition of the importance of the spiritual domain in the counseling process and the need for training materials and strategies for integrating the Association of Spiritual, Ethical, and Religious Values in Counseling (ASERVIC) competencies into the field of counseling. Although many counselors and educators endorse the spiritual competencies, there is little evidence that these competencies are being systematically and comprehensively addressed in counselors' training. This course summarizes the revised ASERVIC competencies, their relevance, and application in the counseling process, explaining why it is important for counselors to be proficient in each area before working with spiritual and religious issues in counseling. These competencies will enable counselors, social workers, mental health professionals, and allied professionals to develop a framework to assist them in understanding and working effectively with clients' spiritual and religious lives.

The purpose of this course is to assist social workers, counselors, and mental health professionals in raising their level of expertise when working with clients who present with spiritual and religious issues.

Target Audience

This course is designed for social workers, mental health counselors, therapists, and other allied health professionals who work in clinical practice settings.

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain the relationship between clients' spiritual/religious beliefs, worldviews, and psychosocial functioning.
  2. Outline the history and current role of the incorporation of spirituality and religion in counseling.
  3. Describe the similarities and differences between spirituality and religion, including the basic beliefs of various spiritual systems and major world religions.
  4. Discuss the influence of the counselor's beliefs, attitudes, and values on clients and the counseling process.
  5. Describe and apply various models of spiritual and religious development and their relationship to human development.
  6. Respond to client communication about spirituality and/or religion with acceptance and sensitivity.
  7. Consider clients' spiritual and/or religious perspectives when gathering information for the intake and assessment processes.
  8. Recognize when making a diagnosis that clients' spiritual and/or religious perspectives can enhance well-being, contribute to client problems; and exacerbate symptoms.
  9. Set goals with clients that are consistent with their spiritual and/or religious perspectives.

Additional Information

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 5.00 Approved Continuing Education (ACE)
  • 5.00 Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Katherine Greig, MSW, PhD, is the CEO of New Perspective Counseling Center LLC in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a trainer, consultant, and retired professor of social work. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Master’s in Counseling Education from Cleveland State University. Later, she received a Master’s in Social Work and a PhD in Social Administration from Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Greig has worked in the fields of social work and counseling for more than 30 years. Her specialty areas include depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and Christian counseling. Dr. Greig is a certified Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) consultant, Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) specialist.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Katherine Greig, MSW, PhD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planners

Alice Yick Flanagan, PhD, MSW

Margaret Donohue, PhD

Division Planners Disclosure

The division planners have disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Director of Development and Academic Affairs

Sarah Campbell

Director Disclosure Statement

The Director of Development and Academic Affairs has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

As a Jointly Accredited Organization, NetCE is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. NetCE maintains responsibility for this course.

Designations of Credit

Social workers participating in this intermediate to advanced course will receive 5 Cultural Competency continuing education clock hours.

Individual State Behavioral Health Approvals

In addition to states that accept ASWB, NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education by the following state boards: Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners, Provider #0515; Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling, CE Broker Provider #50-2405; Illinois Division of Professional Regulation for Social Workers, License #159.001094; Illinois Division of Professional Regulation for Licensed Professional and Clinical Counselors, License #197.000185; Illinois Division of Professional Regulation for Marriage and Family Therapists, License #168.000190;

Available Credit

  • 5.00 Approved Continuing Education (ACE)
  • 5.00 Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)


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This course is offered through NetCE.

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