Religious discourse and counseling discourse in the lives and work of counselors



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Multicultural competence in counseling includes a knowledge and understanding of the religious and philosophical affiliations that condition and influence both counselees and professionals. It is therefore crucial to identify the cultural discourses, including religious discourses, that inform counselors’ professional choices, to improve counselors’ awareness of influential ideas and the origin of those ideas. Two types of cultural discourse were examined from the counselor’s perspective-professional counseling discourse and religious discourse-with the goal of understanding the processing and production of discourses within the counselor with respect to religious and counseling ideas and material. Grounded theory analysis of the data obtained in 10 interviews identified a total of six themes, three common to all the interviews and three others that appeared in one topic—religion or counseling—of an individual interview, then reappeared in another topic in the same interview. Findings established that participants’ faith and religious practices influence their counseling careers and clinical choices, and vice versa, with numerous instances of congruence of religious and counseling beliefs. Further analysis of discursive patterns in the interviews revealed that discursive migration occurred through three mechanisms described by discourse theorists. Those were hegemony of discourses, formulation of analogies, and dialogic conditioning of existing discourses from the two subject areas.



Religion, Counseling, Discourse