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Why your mental health practice needs a Spiritual Assessment


You are a psychologist, social worker, counselor, or nurse who wants to become more spiritually competent

  • Your clients want to have discussions about their spiritual beliefs, experiences, and practices

  • Your clients ask you how they can use prayer and other spiritual practices in their therapy

  • Your clients ask you whether mindfulness, yoga, self-compassion, and forgiveness could help them

  • Your clients raise spiritual problems that are affecting their well-being and recovery

Full Course Content Available for instant access - click free preview above

In your clinical training program, were you provided with the essential baseline skills to be spiritually competent?

Through SCA courses, you will gain the knowledge PLUS the evidence-based skills to...

  • To have evidence-informed and ethically-sensitive conversations with clients about their spirituality

  • To make appropriate recommendations and referrals for clients who want to integrate spiritual practices into their treatments

  • To harnass clients’ religious and spiritual strengths

  • To build a stronger therapeutic alliance based on showing respect toward clients’ deeply held beliefs and values

David Lukoff, PhD Instructor Biography

I was a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Saybrook Graduate School and also on the faculty at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, UCLA, and Harvard for the past 40 years. I have been a licensed psychologist including working at the San Francisco Veterans Medical Center for 14 years, and also at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute for 9 years.  I have authored over 80 articles on spirituality and mental health in peer reviewed journals including several on spiritual competency. 

My initiation into spirituality both personally and professionally began with a spiritual crisis in my early twenties that provided me with both a mental health challenge (during which I benefited greatly from 5 years of Jungian psychotherapy) and a spiritual awakening that led me from being an atheist to becoming a spiritual seeker. 

 This episode later led me to become a psychologist with a deep interest in spirituality. For 20 years my focus was on spiritual crises like my own. This culminated in proposing and co-authoring a new category for “Religious or Spiritual Problem” in the DSM-IV (also in the DSM-5) which has increased awareness of spiritual issues in clinical practice. For the past 20 years, my focus has been on other ways to enhance the spiritual competency of mental healthcare providers.

Watch Intro Video

What is Spiritual Assessment?

Video from Spiritual Assessment Course

Thoughts from Professionals about SCA courses

An excellent job of guiding people through the mental health resources.

John Suler, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Rider University Webmaster: Psychology of Cyberspace

The information and guidance in Dr. Lukoff's courses will soon be, if not already, mandatory for all health care professionals who choose to remain current and literate in their fields.

Jeanne Achterberg, Ph.D., Former Professor of Psychology, Saybrook Graduate School

Good presentation, great selection of material and organization. This was a much more valuable use of my time than virtually all of the CEU courses I have to sit through.

This was a GREAT course. It has helped me to be a more informed clinician.

This is one of the most valuable continuing ed courses I have taken. Practical, relevant and imminently usable. Thanks.

Course Curriculum Includes

Access the entire course for free, and pay only for CE credits

  • 1

    Introduction to Course

    • Welcome to the Course Video and Learning Objectives

    • Meet Your Instructors

    • Course Outline

    • Downloadable PDF of SSOPP Spiritual Assessment Interview

    • Pretest Self-evaluation of Spiritual Competency

  • 2

    History of Religion and Spirituality in Healthcare

    • Learning Outcome

    • History of Religion and Spirituality in Healthcare Video

  • 3

    What is Culturally Competent Spiritual Assessment?

    • Learning Outcome

    • What is Spiritually-Sensitive Assessment? Video

    • Dr. Puchalski Discussing Spiritual Assessment by Physicians Using the FICA

    • Example of Culturally Inappropriate and a Culturally Competent Healthcare

    • Example of Cultural Sensitivity Regarding a Patient's Religious Beliefs

    • Example of a Cultural Sensitivity Issue Around Gender

  • 4

    Overview of the Interview to Conduct a Spiritual Assessment

    • Learning Outcome

    • Overview of the SSOPP Interview Video

  • 5

    Screening for a Spiritual Assessment

    • Learning Outcome

    • SSOPP Interview Screening for Importance of R/S Video

    • SSOPP: Screening for Importance of R/S Questions

    • Screening Interactive Exercises

  • 6

    Religious and Spiritual Strengths

    • Learning Outcome

    • SSOPP Interview R/S Strengths Video

  • 7

    Participation in Organized Religion and Spirituality

    • Learning Outcome

    • Participation in Organized R/S Video

    • Organized R/S Interactive Exercises

  • 8

    Personal Religious and Spiritual Practices

    • Learning Outcome

    • Personal R/S Video

    • Personal R/S Questions

    • Personal R/S Interactive Exercises MISSING

  • 9

    Religious and Spiritual Problems

    • Learning Outcome

    • R/S Problems Video

    • Questions for R/S Problems

    • R/S Problems Interactive Exercises

  • 10

    SSOPP Interview Practice

    • Learning Outcome

    • SSOPP Practice: Client Responses Quiz

    • SSOPP Practice: Interview Questions Interactive Exercises

    • Client Cases Involving R/S

  • 11

    Quiz for CE Credit

    • Quiz Guidelines

    • Information on Continuing Education Credit for Healthcare Professionals

    • Required Course Evaluation for CE Credits

    • Post test Self-Evaluation of Spiritual Competency

    • Quiz for CE Credit

Introduction to Spiritual Assessment Online Course

The Training and Tools you Need to Conduct an Evidence‑Based, Ethically Sensitive and Strengths‑Based Approached Assessment