Stloukal & Wickman (2011) was an intriguing read due to the role of religion and spirituality in the socio-emotional life of the individual, thus placing the need for its incorporation in the school counseling programs. This is even though religion has been accused of causing division amongst humanity and causing havoc worldwide. The authors recognize that spirituality is critical in the holistic development of an individual and their general wellness.
The school counselors often find the need to apply spirituality tools in answering metaphysical questions to provide hope and the ability to cope with challenges to the learners. Religion provides a structure on how individuals can conduct their spiritual lives through actions, attitudes, and beliefs that individuals need to adhere to.
On the other hand, spirituality provides them with tools of individual practice, thus giving them a sense and purpose. School counselors provide the learners with the opportunities to explore personal belief systems, which in most cases involves religion to improve the individual’s overall quality of life.
The utilization of school counseling programs as spiritual and religious safe zones makes the school counselors accountable for the learner’s spiritual development in promoting growth and development in the encouragement of positive academic performance. I think that creating spiritual and religious safe zones can be beneficial to students. Despite our diverse cultures, schools should afford to attend to the spiritual need of the students in an attempt to attend to their general well-being.
This should not, however, marginalize the learners who choose to be atheists. Spirituality is a concept that unites humanity despite our religious discipline and should therefore be prioritized over religion. The school counselors help the learners to attend to the inner sense of purpose and peace of the students and use their religious background to contextualize the individual’s spirituality.
Stloukal, M. E., & Wickman, S. A. (2011). School counseling programs as spiritual and religious safe zones. Counseling and Values, 55(2), 157-170.