Supervision Strategies for Social Work Students Managing Faith and Spirituality in Addictions Practice

Main Article Content

Lisa A. Street
Tressa Moyle


addictions, field education, spirituality, social work supervision, social work practicum


Field placement in addictions treatment offers social work students several diverse and rich opportunities for learning.  Addictions practice exposes students to spirituality as a domain of health and well-being foundational to many recovery programs.  For practicum students, learning to manage personal religious beliefs and spirituality can be a significant need in field supervision.  Based on the supervisory experiences of a field instructor and field coordinator who have collaborated in field education for 10 years (as well as were colleagues on a family drug court team prior), this article presents strategies for helping students manage their personal beliefs about faith and spirituality in addictions practice.  Supervision strategies presented include: (a) separating spirituality from religion, (b) reframing addiction viewed as sin, (c) offering reflective feedback, (d) self-reflecting through journaling, process recording, and other assignments, and (e) promoting experiential activities to connect personally with people of different backgrounds.

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