Practice FAQs

Is Spiritual Care a regulated profession?
With established standards and requirements for Certification, as well as maintaining qualifications for Certification through Peer Review, Spiritual Care and Psycho-Spiritual Therapy have a 50-year tradition of being self-regulated in Canada through CASC/ACSS. Many Certified Spiritual Care Practitioners and Psycho-Spiritual Therapists are also becoming part of professional regulatory colleges for the counselling and psychotherapy that are being established across the country.

Do I need to be religious to receive Spiritual Care or Psycho-Spiritual Therapy?
No. Spirituality is “the dynamic dimension of human life that relates to the way persons (individual and community) experience, express and/or seek meaning, purpose and transcendence, and the way they connect to the moment, to self, to others. To nature, to the significant and/or the sacred.” (Puchalski et. al.) It is part of every person’s experience and all people can benefit from Spiritual Care or Psycho-Spiritual Therapy.
What is the difference between Spiritual Care and Social Work?
The aim of Social work is “to help people develop their skills and their ability to use their own resources and those of the community to resolve problems. Social work is concerned with individual and personal problems but also with broader social issues such as poverty, unemployment and domestic violence.” (CASW-ACTS)

Spiritual Care is a holistic therapeutic approach that attends to an individual’s beliefs, values, behaviours and experiences related to spirituality, religion, culture and/or transcendence in an effort to develop relatedness, wholeness, healing, meaning and purpose.

What’s the difference between a Spiritual Care Practitioner and a Chaplain?
The profession of Spiritual Care evolved out of Chaplaincy, and many of our strategic partners in the United States continue to use this title. In Canada, many people think that Chaplains are primarily focused on religion as opposed to the more universal experience of spirituality. CASC/ACSS adopted the titles of Spiritual Care Practitioner and Psycho-Spiritual Therapists in response to this reality.
Do I need to be ordained to be a Spiritual Care Practitioner or Psycho-Spiritual Therapist?
No. CASC/ACSS Certified Professionals have a Masters Degree in theology, spirituality or a clinically related field prior to completing their Supervised Pastoral Education (SPE). While many are also Ordained with a religious or spiritual community, ordination is not a requirement to be a Spiritual Care Practitioner or a Psycho-Spiritual Therapist.