Faith and Spiritual-Based Counseling

More than five years ago, the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) embarked on a quest to change the way behavioral health services are delivered to Philadelphia’s men, women, children and families. One of the most powerful and long-lasting forms of that healing is inherent in the faith and spiritual communities indigenous to our neighborhoods.

Recently, DBHIDS formed a very important partnership with Community College of Philadelphia and, together with input from the faith community, the two organizations created the concept of a noncredit certificate in Faith and Spiritual-Based Counseling. 

The Faith and Spiritual-Based Counseling certificate is a 45-hour noncredit workshop that gives behavioral health providers and spiritual leaders the skills necessary to help people living with behavioral health issues from a faith or spiritually-based perspective. Rather than focusing on any one tradition or philosophy, the Faith and Spiritual-Based Counseling workshop is inclusive.

Students are required to purchase the following text book prior to the start of class: Faith, Spirituality and Resilience in Recovery, Pascal Scoles, ISBN: 978-1657178557. (Revised in 2020.)

Learning Outcomes:

•    Understand that behavioral health problems sometimes impede religious and spiritual development
•    Communicate and sustain the message of hope and caring to people in recovery
•    Identify additional fellowship programs, other self-help, and peer-led supports in the community 
•    Acknowledge and address ethical values, clinical issues, and attitudes regarding faith based counseling
•    Shape, form, and educate a caring congregation and a secular counseling system that welcomes and supports persons
     and families in need of faith based counseling
•    Practice basic counseling techniques that encourage empowerment
•    Illustrate knowledge of basic theory of trauma and recovery
•    Develop awareness of rites and rituals from various spiritual traditions which aid in the  process of healing and recovery

Session List 

Session 1: Introduction to Faith as a Healing Practice
Session 2: Community Empowerment in Behavioral Health
Session 3: Trauma and Healing
Session 4: Resilience and Flow in Recovery
Sessions 5 & 6: Soul Healing, Spiritual Traditions and Beliefs
Session 7: Cultural Competence and Healing
Session 8: Ethics, and Helping Relationships
Session 9: Spirituality and Jungian Healing Practices
Session 10: Wilber's Four Quadrant Approach to a Theory of Consciousness
Session 11: How People Change in a Recovery Oriented System of Care
Session 12: Behavioral Interventions in the Change Process
Session 13: The Brain and Vitamins
Session 14: Holistic Healing Practices: Acupuncture and Massage
Session 15: Holistic Healing Practices: Meditation, Exercise, Yoga

Course Hours: 45 Hours