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Developing a Spiritual Assessment Toolbox

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Developing a Spiritual Assessment Toolbox
A. Wilmer

Developing a Spiritual Assessment Toolbox
Summary
When a client’s spirituality is an active component of his belief system and culture, assessing his quality of life from a mental health perspective would not be complete without an accurate assessment of his spiritual needs (Hodge, 2005). Experts are stating that a holistic approach to counseling incorporates both psychological and spiritual assessments (Hodge, 2005). The accrediting body of hospitals, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), recognizes the importance of spiritual assessments and recommends that health care providers conduct these assessments to understand their clients’ religious beliefs and spiritual habits (Hodge, 2005).
David Hodge (2005) presents a review of five qualitative assessment tools for effective analysis of a client’s spiritual and cultural wherewithal. The design of these assessment tools gives a more definitive construction of a client’s worldview for the purposes of integrating spiritual beliefs and attitudes in the therapeutic process and discharge planning (Hodge, 2005). Hodge asserts that this form of assessment allows the healthcare professional to explore a client’s “spiritual strengths that might be used to ameliorate problems or cope with difficulties” (Hodge, 2005, para. 1).
The five qualitative assessment tools offered by Hodge (2005) provide a detailed description and comparison of each tool, and its usefulness, strengths, and weaknesses. One of the assessment methods, spiritual histories, allows the healthcare profession to explore the client’s spirituality through verbal interaction with the client (Hodge, 2005). The remaining four assessments, spiritual lifemaps, spiritual genograms, spiritual ecomaps, and spiritual ecograms require more client participation and active...

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