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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 517--525

Who can provide spiritual counseling? A qualitative study from Iran

1 Department of Mental Health, School of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Spiritual Health Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Nadereh Memaryan
Spiritual Health Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, School of Behavioral Sciences and Mental Health, Shahid Mansouri Street, Niyayesh Street, Sattarkhan Avenue, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_104_18

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Background and Aim: Given the increased prevalence of mental illnesses in recent years, many therapists and researchers use spiritual counseling (SC), which is one of the spiritual interventions. However, unfortunately, the use of this intervention by the therapists is nonscientific because the ambiguities of this issue are high in the mental health field of Iran. The aim of this study is to survey the following most important challenges: what groups are qualified to provide SC, what kind of knowledge should be known by suitable individuals, who can train spiritual counselors, what they should teach, and what teaching methods should be used. Methods: The present conventional qualitative content analysis used deep semi-structured interview to collect data from the view of stakeholders. A total of 15 people were selected through purposive sampling. After transcription of the interviews, the data were analyzed based on the Graneheim and Lundman model. Results: Results obtained from data analysis covered five main themes including SC candidates, general conditions, sciences required, SC curriculum, and spiritual counselors' training method. Conclusions: The present study has answered to the most basic questions in SC scope. Since spiritual services are rooted in our culture and religion, native guidelines should be created for them as soon as possible through conducting similar qualitative researches. Furthermore, it is worth considering teaching and training case in this scope to make spiritual service providers concern about solutions to promote these services.


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