This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Counselor Spiritual Competencies: An Examination of Counselor Practices




Cates, Keith

Type of Degree



Counseling Psychology


The purpose of this study was to investigate the spiritual competencies and practices used by mental health professionals, particularly the 1) knowledge, 2) awareness, 3) understanding, and 4) interventions these practitioners employ in regard to religious and spiritual aspects of client issues, how these practices correspond with the ASERVIC spiritual competencies and how these practices differ across a) the participant’s professional identity (i.e., a counseling professional or psychological professional), b) years of professional experience, c) age, d) gender, e) racial/ethnic affiliation, f) level of academic achievement, and g) religious affiliation. Ninety-four counseling and psychology professionals responded to a quantitative survey answering 34 questions. The survey was presented to licensed clinicians and sought the clinicians’ perceptions of their own use of knowledge, awareness, understanding, and interventions related to religious and spiritual issues encountered in clinical practice. The survey questions were subjected to reliability assessment, univariate and multivariate analysis of variance, and post hoc analysis to examine the differences of perceptions of counseling and psychology professionals. Significant differences were found between affiliations of counseling and psychology professionals. Significant differences were also found between selected demographic groups in both the spiritual competency domains and the spiritual competencies.