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Education Prof, Alumnus Publish New Textbook, 'Spirituality in Counseling and Psychotherapy'

In their new book, "Spirituality in Counseling and Psychotherapy: The FACE-SPIRIT Model," Radha Horton-Parker and R. Charles Fawcett present an innovative model for integrating spirituality into the helping professions. Horton-Parker is an associate professor of counseling at Old Dominion University, and Fawcett is a graduate of the master's program in counseling and a former instructor in ODU's human services program.

Their book contains a variety of approaches for counselors, therapists, helping professionals, instructors and students that are both practical and flexible. The applications are categorized as either implicit (done within one's self without the client's awareness) or explicit (performed outwardly with the client). The four implicit strategies are grouped under the acronym FACE (Focusing on the present, Asking for guidance, Compassion cultivation, Existential empathy) and the six explicit strategies using the acronym SPIRIT (Simile and metaphor, Prayer, Interpretation of sacred texts, Ritual therapy, Imagery, Transgression relief).

This textbook is designed to be complete and thorough enough to be used as a stand-alone guide for a class. However, it is short, direct and easy enough to read to be used as a supplemental textbook addressing spirituality in counseling practice.

The book covers the historical relationship between spirituality and counseling, theories of faith development and spirituality, methods for working with clients' diverse beliefs, spiritual assessment techniques, ethical issues, research findings, references and the specific strategies of the FACE-SPIRT model. Published by Love Publishing Co., the book effectively shows how spirituality can be integrated and applied when working with clients.

Special features of the textbook include:

• A near exhaustive review of the literature on the topic of counseling and spirituality

• Vignettes and examples of counselor-client dialogue illustrating each technique

• Discussion questions at the end of each chapter to facilitate classroom dialogue and individual synthetic learning

• A companion DVD that shows the authors using these techniques with the case studies, available for sale through the American Counseling Association (www.counseling.org).

Horton-Parker, who has taught at ODU since 1992, has also worked as the coordinator of a university counseling center, a social worker and a counselor in both schools and agencies. Fawcett, a licensed professional counselor and doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia, is currently employed as a mental health counselor.

Other books by these authors include Horton-Parker's textbook, "The Unfolding Life: Counseling Across the Lifespan," and Fawcett's "Essentials of Testing and Assessment: A Practical Guide for Counselors, Social Workers, and Psychologists."

This article was posted on: November 8, 2010

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