Thursday, January 17, 2013

Office Closing

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Warning for Thursday, January 17, 2013.  Thus, the Synergy Counseling Center will be closed.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we want our staff and clients to avoid any travel risks.

All appointments for January 17 will be rescheduled.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Integrating Spirituality In Counseling

Integrating spirituality and/or religion in counseling, when appropriate, can be an effective strategy for facilitating insight, hope, and change (Bowen-Reid & Harrell, 2002).  Moreover, integrating a spiritual perspective in counseling may be a necessary approach to ensure culturally sensitive and ethical counseling practice as integration is mandated by the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Code of Ethics (ACA, 2005; Carone & Barone, 2001; Robertson, 2010).  The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) further substantiated ACA’s position by recommending standards for social and cultural diversity curriculum that include spiritual orientation and religious values (CACREP, 2009; Willow, Tobin & Toner, 2009).  Finally, spiritual assessment is directly addressed in ASERVIC’s newly revised Competencies for Addressing Spiritual and Religious Issues in Counseling (2009).  Competency Ten reads: “During the intake and assessment process, the professional counselor strives to understand a client’s spiritual and/or religious perspective by gathering information from the client and/or other resources.”  This competency directly addresses the need for the appropriate and ethical integration of spiritual assessment into the counseling process.

Other reasons include:

1. Spiritual assessment allows for a better understanding of the client’s context and worldview, an essential element of ethical and culturally competent practice.
2. Self assessment is a necessary activity to help counselors clarify their own spiritual values (e.g., self-exploration activities such as a spiritual autobiography or timeline) before trying to help clients incorporate their spirituality into healing.
3. Continuous self-assessment in terms of the counselor’s spiritual domain allows the counselors to self monitor to avoid any violations of ethical principles, such as imposing one’s values onto the client.
4. Spiritual assessments provide counselors with tools that will assist in determining if the client would be served in a more productive way with the inclusion of spiritual issues in counseling.

What do couples fight about?

The number one cause of divorce in America is infidelity.  The number two cause is financial issues.  Couples fight more often about money than anything else.  And a study at Utah State University found that couples who disagree about their finances once a week are 30% more likely to divorce than couples who disagree once a month.  So, here’s how to cut back on the friction about your finances:

  • Don’t equate expensive gifts with love.  A Brigham Young University study found that couples that were concerned about having expensive things scored lower on marital satisfaction tests.  And those who weren't concerned about material things were more likely to be happy just being together.  And if both partners were materialistic, they were more likely to fight about money, even if they had plenty to spend.
  • Never hide your purchases from your partner!  In one survey, 30% of respondents said they felt that hiding purchases was financial infidelity.  And they considered that as harmful as having an affair.
  • Stop spending your money on stuff, and use it for experiences you can enjoy together.  According to the Journal of Consumer Psychology, splurging on concert tickets and vacations makes couples happier than buying new possessions.  That’s because we get a mood boost from anticipating an event before it happens.  And the memories we have will last long after our “new stuff” is worn out and gathering dust in the garage.