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Incorporating Spirituality Into Counselling Literature Review

Spirituality is a development of personal transformation. It is developed through subjective experience, psychological growth, or ideas of one’s world. It can’t be taught to someone because the individual needs to discover themselves. The person grows from the inside to become spiritual in the world around them. Spirituality can have many different definitions; it can be something as simple as looking for a higher meaning in life. People can express this through songs, dances, stories, and writings. Different communities across the globe have different beliefs and thoughts regarding a particular issue. Counsellors advise people to ease the burden of their dreams and avert cases like suicide.

Children Spirituality

On a daily basis, spirituality becomes a part of children and can be seen in their daily activities through facial expressions, conversations, and attitudes. There are three types of spirituality in children: sensitive, existential and relational. Raw spirituality means children using senses as their being and not only to communicate, thus connecting to the world. Relations imply a way to relate to people naturally and show compassion, forgiveness and love, thus connecting with God. Existential spirituality suggests the ability to understand symbolism, limitations, place, time, space and imagination (Rowan, 2016). When children feel disconnected from their friends, families, communities, and peers, they tend to show academic, emotional and behavioural challenges. For children to feel connected, they have to form a bond with the environment that surrounds them at a particular time. If children lack connection with the world around them, they feel a sense of loss that affects their psychological health. Spiritual growth is a combination of emotional and mental growth in children. Children’s life’s purpose, moral values, and meaning of suffering are shaped by religious beliefs. Children’s lousy life events can be solved by meditation, seeking strength from God, asking for spiritual counselling and believing in God, which are known as theological skills. Religious leaders in communities set aside sessions when children attend Bible or Quran meetings when they get spiritual guidance in the way of life.

Religion aids a child’s development, thus shaping a child’s life as it becomes easier to solve problems that arise in future by reasoning. Parents, on the other hand, should become a part of their children’s lives every step of the way to make sure that their daughter’s or son’s growth is positive. When parents and family love their children, they excel in their studies because they are always happy. At times, parents fight in the presence of their children, which usually negatively affects a child’s mental health. A child’s mind can record every event happening in their life, thus leading to negative growth. Counsellors play a significant role in shaping a child’s life through the study of behaviour and emotions and by listening to them. Some communities believe in counselling from religious leaders through Bible and Quran teachings (Rowan, 2005). A professional counsellor is rejected in communities that embrace traditional methods of solving problems. Communities believe in curses and taboos when children have a problem, and some are cast out of society or perform a ritual for cleansing.

Positive Effects Of Spiritual Guidance

When a child is raised, life is nurtured correctly by religion and parents, and they live a positive experience. A child performs well academically when the parents and teachers are concerned and treat them well. A child who feels a sense of belonging by attending Bible or Quran study sessions is kind, forgiving, honest, obedient, and humble, as he or she fears a higher power (West, 2001). In a society that brings up their children in a religious setting, children grow up well and become better leaders, thus leading to the growth of a country. The presence of a parent in every step of life keeps a child from bad company. Religious guidance teaches children and adults against engaging in sexual intercourse, thus meaning no early pregnancies and diseases. Parents and teachers’ encouragement in nurturing a child’s talent makes them become a legend in future, for example, in the music industry or art. Children’s spiritual guidance at home gives rise to scientists and innovators who have helped the world become a better place for humankind’s existence. Spirituality boosts a child’s self-esteem, thus, excellent life satisfaction. Religious guidance equips children with skills that help them handle and deal with daily challenges. Spirituality helps a child to escape diseases like ulcers in future, which are a result of stress and depression (Bryant-Davis & Anderson et al., 2012).

Adverse Effects Due To Lack Of Spiritual Guidance

If a child’s life is unshaped by religious leaders and parents, the probability of that child’s depression, committing suicide, dealing drugs, and gang involvement is high. Children who lack religious guidance and whose parents are absent when growing up tend to seek answers in places which are inappropriate. Cases of depression in children lead to poor academic performance and dropping out of school when they become teenagers. Most teenagers who are dealing drugs or involved in a street gang in the United States are victims of depression and lousy development in childhood. The street gang, from their perspective, does nothing wrong because that’s how they view their world. Children move away from home and live with friends or on the streets to be at peace with their parents at home and are always fighting. Drug dealing and gang involvement give teenagers money, thus making them drop out of school as they start believing in life outside of class. Children are killed in the streets a robbery or drug dealing goes sideways thus bringing sorrow to their families and communities. Due to stress and a sense of rejection by parents, bright children leave school and opt for other alternatives, thus leading to the loss of great leaders in government and society for tomorrow. Children who look for comfort in drugs like cocaine or heroin end up in rehabilitation centres, thus wasting their childhood and their parent’s money (Plumb, 2011).


A child who has trouble when growing up is most likely to have a lot of problems when he or she becomes an adult. Childhood rejection and abuse haunt a person at times, which makes him or her violent or abusive. A counsellor should always do their best to spot children who are emotionally distressed to avoid problems that may arise in future. Children who witness their parents fighting tend to have an unstable family if someone never comes in and helps them through the distress. Nowadays, there are a lot of breakups in families, and if children lack counsel, they will follow in their parent’s footsteps. Children who experience rejection at home by their parents tend to be angry and bitter, thus picking up unnecessary fights (Lines, 2006). To solve the problem of stealing and fighting, parents should ensure their child is raised through religion. Most successful and influential people in society, when they are children, become raised through belief set-up.

Children who grow up in a violent environment tend to harm other people in life. A child who experiences abuse from his or her mother tends to hurt other women in life, especially the ones who look like their mum. Abuse of children results in too many homicide cases, as they tend to become killers when they become adults. Unstable mental health inflicts harm to people and society at large. Drug cartels are present today, as when the founders were children, nobody taught them about their neighbour’s well-being. To avoid school dropouts of bright students due to stress and peer influence, schools need to set up a counselling department. When counsellors spot an adverse change in behaviour, they talk to them, establish a problem, and then help to get past it. Counsellors also call parents for guidance sessions if they are the result of a change in their child. Dealing drugs is the primary challenge facing students at the Campus level, for example, smoking weed and shisha and injecting themselves with morphine, cocaine, and heroin, which occurs due to parental and religious failure. Administering these drugs into the blood system leads to death in case of overdose. Drugs are addictive, and the body sometimes does not function properly if not fed with the required dose.

The bad thing about taking drugs is that the body craves more and more, which is hard to stop. Sometimes, these drugs make a student go crazy. Parents’ health deteriorates, and life becomes hard for them as they grow stressed about their children. The above experience brings the recognition that young people need guidance and a place to lean on if the going gets tough. Counselling programs bring a healthy community, and these programs should be established at every school. As a counsellor, one must first understand people and community behaviour before giving guidance. Studying people and the community provides a counsellor with the approach on which to handle them and not get spooked. It is essential to treat a distressed child with care, or he might harm you.


Bryant-Davis, T., Ellis, M. U., Burke-Maynard, E., Moon, N., Counts, P. A., & Anderson, G. (2012). Religiosity, spirituality, and trauma recovery in the lives of children and adolescents. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 43(4), 306-314. Doi:10.1037/a0029282.

Joyce, P., & Sills, C. (2014). Skills in Gestalt counselling & psychotherapy. Sage.

Lines, D. (2006). Spirituality in counselling and psychotherapy. Sage.

Lukoff D, Lu F, Turner R. Toward a more culturally sensitive DSM-IV. Psychoreligious and psychospiritual problems. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1992;180:673–82.

McLeod, J. (2011). Qualitative research in counselling and psychotherapy. Sage.

Plumb, A. M. (2011). Spirituality and Counselling: Are Counsellors Prepared to Integrate Religion and Spirituality into Therapeutic Work with Clients?/La spiritualité et le course

Rowan, J. (1993). The Transpersonal: Psychotherapy and counselling. Psychology Press.

Rowan, J. (2016). The reality game: A guide to humanistic counselling and psychotherapy. Routledge.

Rowan, J., (2005) The transpersonal: Spirituality in psychotherapy and counselling, 2nd edition, London: Routledge.

West, W. (2001). Issues relating to the use of forgiveness in counselling and psychotherapy. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 29(4), 415-423.



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