Asian Shades of Spirituality: Implications for Multicultural School Counseling.

In many cases, Asian students can be better served by understanding the spiritual aspects of Asian spiritual and religious traditions. Three specific traditions are outlined in this article: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Each tradition is described and a case example that illustrates working with students of these traditions is provided. In the current practice of school counseling, little consideration is given to the spiritual background of students of Asian cultures. Although there is a body of literature on Asian culture in counseling, we could find remarkably few articles pertaining to counseling students in the context of Asian religious and spiritual traditions. In many cases, understanding these traditions can be of immense help in establishing relationships with these students. If the student is from an Asian family strongly dedicated to their religious tradition, we have found that demonstrating understanding and empathy toward that tradition can provide a powerful invitation to trust the counselor. The importance of establishing a relationship in counseling is well-known and well-documented in the literature (e.g., Orlinsky, Grawe, & Parks, 1994; Sexton & Whiston, 1994). Spirituality is often overlooked as a way of strengthening the counseling relationship and engendering trust.

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