101475: Developing Spiritual Competency With Native Americans

Promoting Wellness Through Balance and Harmony

About the Course:

Native Americans tend to hold culturally unique beliefs about the origin of problems and the ways in which those problems can be ameliorated. For most Native American tribal communities, spirituality is interconnected with health and well-being. Accordingly, developing some degree of spiritual competency is essential for work with Native American clients. Consequently, this paper discusses the relationship between spirituality and health, highlighting the roles that balance and harmony play in fostering health and well-being in many tribal cultures. Also discussed are common spiritual beliefs and practices, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, areas of potential value conflict, and practice suggestions to enhance spiritual competency when working with Native Americans.

Journal/Publisher:

Alliance for Children and Families/Families in Society

Publication Date:

2008/Vol.89,No.4

Authors

Gordon E. Limb, PhD; David R. Hodge, PhD

About the Authors:

Associate professor, School of Social Work, Brigham Young University

Assistant professor, Arizona State University at the West Campus, and senior nonresident fellow, University of Pennsylvania’s Program for Research on Religion and Urban Civil Society

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other human services and behavioral health professionals who seek knowledge about casework practice with Native Americans. It is appropriate for participants with an introductory level of knowledge about the topic.
COURSE SYLLABUS I. Native Spirituality—A Diverse Construct II Wellness Through Balance and Harmony III Spiritual Beliefs and Practices IV American Indian Religious Freedom Act V Potential Value Conflicts VI Practice Suggestions
VII Conclusion

Course Objectives:

  1. Gain an understanding of and competency in practice for spirituality with Native American clients.

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