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Ethical Issues for the Integration of Religion and Spirituality in Therapy

Using the Ethics Code, evaluate how the Code works in a religious/spiritual therapy setting. Explain why the APA ethical standards are important in this application. When writing your paper, review all of the standards of the Code that you believe are particularly related to this topic.

3-5 scholarly articles regarding ethics and religion/spirituality. You will evaluate the facts of each article and present your professional conclusions, using the text and other references.

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Religious Therapy & Ethics

Religious therapy is what results when the cause of a psychological condition is religious or spiritual issues. Like any other psychological issues, it creates difficulty and distress in those suffering from it. Lukoff (1998) explains that religious therapy happens because people suffer "forms of distress associated with spiritual practices and experiences." A good number of Americans live their lives within the value system of their beliefs, with their religion/faith becoming the ideal and moral standard they derive much of their knowledge and practice of right and wrong as this is important to them in confirming and enforcing their ideas of self, identity and meaning. Much of the issues, therefore, that therapists and counsellors encounter has something to do with personal, especially spiritual beliefs therefore expertise-wise and ethics-wise, they have to be competent in dealing with them to provide assistance and relief in a manner that fits well within the aims of the ethical and legal considerations of the American Psychological Association with key areas of concern as follows - confidentiality, informed consent, duty to care, self-determination and standards of practice/qualification. Another key element here that must be considered is non-prejudice and the practice of neutrality/equality. The persistence of spiritual-based issues in counseling is eminent in the addition of the condition as a diagnostic category in DSM-IV under the heading 'Religious or Spiritual Problem', Code V62.89. In this discussion, I have chosen 3 articles that discuss aspects and concerns within this particular area as it relates to ethics.

Article 1

- Author: Lukoff, D.
- Title: From Spiritual Emergency to Spiritual Problem: The Transpersonal Roots of the New DSM-IV Category
- Particulars: The Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 38(2), 21-50, 1998.
- URL: http://www.spiritualcompetency.com/jhpseart.html

Review

This is perhaps the most comprehensive material I have come across that discusses the beginnings, relevance and importance of the inclusion of Code V62.89 in the DSM-IV. From the inclusion, it has now become an actual, established category. He explains (Lukoff, 1998) - "While the acceptance of this new category was based on a proposal documenting the extensive literature on the frequent occurrence of religious and spiritual issues in clinical practice, the impetus for the proposal came from transpersonal clinicians whose initial focus was on spiritual emergencies--forms of distress associated with spiritual ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) that requires the exploration of the APA ethical code in a religious/spiritual therapy setting. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic. 3 applicable scholarly articles are reviewed, with bibliographic information provided. An outline for such a paper is also suggested.

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