Spiritual Counseling

I mainly work with my tribe-of-choice; the extended and chosen (by me, by them, by fate, by the Powers) family that forms my spiritual and emotional community.  I’m going to do a post on that at some point, but let it suffice to say that I’m not currently counseling anyone outside of that group, and not starting with anyone who isn’t referred by someone in that group.  Of course, it’s all right to ask relevant questions, and who knows?

That being said, I still think it’s appropriate to post this here (even if only because I spent so much time on it at CHS:

 

Personal code of spiritual counseling ethics

I will act in all ways possible for the good of my counselees.  I will treat all my counselees with dignity and respect, and seek to enrich their spiritual lives.

I will keep what is said in the strictest confidence.  I will only break confidence if I truly believe that a counselee presents a danger to themselves or others.  If I need to break confidentiality for those reasons, I will divulge information only to those individuals whose help is needed to resolve that danger, and I will discuss the matter with the counselee first if possible.  If I need to consult with a peer, I will divulge no confidences without approval from my counselee.  I acknowledge the difficult issues with confidentiality in couples, family, and group counseling, and will make these issues clear to my counselees.

I will listen actively, focusing my full attention on what is being said.  I will not take sides, but seek to present a balanced perspective on the concerns of my counselees.  If I have a conflict of interest that I cannot resolve, I will disclose this to my counselee and refer them or take other appropriate action.  Any advice I offer will be with the intent to help the counselee, and not to push my own values or agenda.

I will seek to be objective about my own views, values and biases, and make them known to my counselee if I feel it might impact my work with them.  I will learn what I need to learn to help my counselees.

I will make no promises I cannot keep.  I will make it clear that I offer help of a spiritual nature only.  I will make it clear that I am not a traditional therapist or counselor, and recommend such therapy to my counselees if I feel that it might be needed.  I will make clear to my counselees any other limitations I may have.  I will consult and make referrals when needed, and maintain contacts to help me do that.  I will cooperate responsibly with any traditional therapists or counselors that are caring for my counselees.

I will be available within reason to help my counselees.  I will maintain contact with them as needed, and check back even after single sessions.

I acknowledge my limits and frailties.  I will care for myself in order that my counselees may count on my full effort and capabilities, and to make myself an effective and helpful counselor.  I will seek out learning and other opportunities for personal growth.

I acknowledge the potential issues with counseling those who are also friends, loved ones, and members of my tribe-of-choice. I also acknowledge the issues with counseling those I may have conflicts with.  I will remain aware that some of my counselees will probably know or be involved with others of my counselees.  I will keep aware of the differences between counseling and social relationships, and maintain appropriate boundaries.  I will never use my position to take advantage of a counselee – neither physically, mentally, nor emotionally.

I am human, and may make mistakes.  If I do so, I will act to correct my errors, and to redress any harm I may have done.

I acknowledge that my counseling work is a sacred trust, and will strive to perform it in a way that honors the trust placed in me.  May the Powers who aid me in healing guide me in my work.

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