Spiritual Awakenings International™

Conference 2022

"Bringing Us Together"™

What is Spiritual Competency for Healthcare Professionals?

Photo of Dr. David Lukoff PhD, psychologist, Spiritual Emergence expert, author, and researcher

Dr. David Lukoff, PhD - Germany and USA

Circle of Honor Honoree

 Spirituality and religion are important aspects of human diversity that should be explicitly addressed by healthcare professionals.  While multicultural training is routinely included in coursework and internship programs, it rarely includes specific training in Religious and Spiritual diversity.  Yet, national polls indicate that spiritual and religious backgrounds, beliefs and practices (SRBBPs) are important in most people’s lives, and are linked to well-being, coping, sense of purpose, decision-making, meaning making, and resilience to life challenges.  But SRBBPs are often not included in assessment or treatment planning. Some evidence indicates that inattention to SRBBPs in practice may account for disparities in access and use of healthcare services by communities of color and others.  In addition, asking about SRBBPs can increase client satisfaction and continuation of treatment.  This presentation presents the rationale for routinely including a set of basic religious and spiritual competencies in training and practice settings and provides practical recommendations for clinical practice.

Dr. David Lukoff, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and co-author of the DSM IV and DSM 5 diagnostic category Religious or Spiritual Problem which increased awareness of spiritual issues in clinical practice. He has published over 80 articles on spirituality and mental health, and is an active workshop presenter internationally providing training in spiritual competency, loss, grief, death, recovery, and spiritual crises. He is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA and previously served on the faculties of Harvard and UCLA. Dr. Lukoff has been recognized for his pioneering work as an Honoree on the Spiritual Awakenings International Circle of Honor.