Spiritual Assessment in Light of New Guidelines and Evidence-Based Treatment

Start time
10:00 AM Pacific
End time
11:00 AM Pacific

Presented by the Forum On Religion and Spirituality (FORSA)

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How does spiritual assessment inform the medical arena, and vice versa? The various counseling professions have been moving toward evidence based assessment and intervention tools, particularly in light of the new DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition).  Guidelines from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare (JCAHO) have traditionally offered limited guidelines for spiritual assessment, but many see these guidelines as inadequate for the various applications needed.  A further challenge for Spiritual Assessment is that holistic assessment works well between the medically based practitioners and psychology based providers, but the interface with the spiritual is less clear.  DSM 5 has begun to offer some basis for a new approach to spiritual assessment by acknowledging the spiritual life as a part of the client’s cultural response to human need.  In this webinar, we will take a brief historical look at spiritual assessment and its need to be a full player in the interdisciplinary team, and then discuss two different approaches that offer evidence-based approaches to rethink spiritual assessment.

 Participants in this web seminar will be able to:

  • Discuss a brief history of the role of spiritual assessment in the interdisciplinary team
  • Understand the new forces pressuring spiritual assessment to move in new directions
  • Identify new approaches that address the new perspectives on spiritual assessment.


Dr. Jim Ellor has worked in the field of Gerontology for over 40 years as both an Ordained Presbyterian Minister and a social worker.  He is the editor of the Journal of Religion, Spirituality and Aging and 10 books in this area.  He teaches Social Work at Baylor University.