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From The CriticsReviewer:Patricia E. Murphy, PhD(Rush University Medical Center)
Description:This book provides a broad approach to spirituality from several perspectives. The author includes comprehensive though brief suggestions for the application of spirituality in a variety of counseling situations.
Purpose:The purpose is to provide a book for training clinicians to incorporate spirituality into their practice. By combining a theoretical background to spirituality and approaches to both clinical assessment and treatment that incorporate spirituality, the author hopes to educate those who will meet the increasing interest in and need for spirituality evidenced in our society.
Audience:The author hopes to meet the needs of professional psychotherapists as well as of those who provide different types of spiritual counseling or guidance.
Features:One of the unique aspects is a presentation of a variety of theories of spiritual growth. Another helpful feature are the vignettes from six well-known authors in the field of psychotherapy and religion to fill out the theoretical background.
Assessment:Trained professionals would probably be dissatisfied with several aspects of this book. The attempt at breadth leaves out much depth. In the section on spiritual crises, the author seems to accept as fact phenomenon such as possession. Such uncritical assumptions might be unpalatable to many in the field of psychology and psychiatry. It is difficult to tell if the section on spirituality and personality disorders is based on the author's experience or on solid research. Although the undergraduate or master's level student might not question some of the material, I would hesitate to educate future clinicians with less than the best. A book like Shafranske's Religion and the Clinical Practice of Psychology (American Psychological Association, 1996) along with its bibliographies might be a more satisfying starting place for those interested in the topic.