Attending to Religion and Spirituality in Person-Centered Care

Attending to Religion and Spirituality in Person-Centered Care: Culturally Responsive and Ethical Practice

November 17, 2023

9:00am - 4:00pm CT

In-Person at the Crown Family School

CEUs: 6 (3 hours culture, 3 hours ethics)

Religion and spirituality are dimensions of culture that can be salient sources of healing and hope, as well as hurt. At the same time, practitioners may feel unsure about how to respond to matters of faith and spirituality, due in large part to the lack of skill-building opportunities in these topics. As a result, they end up avoiding these aspects of a person’s experience in an effort to maintain ethical standards to not overstep boundaries, practice outside of one’s skills, or cause harm. All of this raises the need to enhance culturally responsiveness while also being becoming aware of the common ethical questions and how to apply ethical decision-making in this context.

This interactive full-day workshop will provide information, tools, and resources for practitioners to increase their self-awareness, practice talking with others about their experiences with religion and spirituality using established tools, as well as identify relevant ethical principles and how to apply ethical decision making in the context of cultural responsiveness with religion and spirituality.

Learning Objectives: As a result of participating in this session, individuals will be able to:

  • Name the three core components involved in developing cultural responsiveness to matters of religion, belief, and spirituality
  • Introduce and administer a spiritual history tool as part of person-centered care
  • Identify at least two situations in which it may be beneficial to reach out to a faith leader, chaplain, or other pastoral professional for information, support, and/or collaboration
  • Identify at least two steps in ethical decision making when working with a person who uses religious or spiritual beliefs to justify actions that cause harm to others


Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW, CADC, (they, them) is a liberation-centered bilingual and multicultural clinician, educator, and national subject matter expert whose driving force is social justice. In addition to their small practice, Gabriela is a Lecturer at the University of Chicago, where they coordinate the Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor Training Program; as well as the Associate Director of the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health. Gabriela brings over 15 years of experience supporting people impacted by structural and interpersonal violence through innovative and evidence-based clinical, housing, resource advocacy, peer-led, harm reduction, and HIV integrated care programs.


This workshop will take place in-person only at the Crown Family School:

969 E 60th Street; Chicago, IL 60637

Mask optional. This convening is open to all invitees who are compliant with UChicago vaccination requirements and, because of ongoing health risks, particularly to the unvaccinated, participants are expected to adopt the risk mitigation measures (masking and social distancing, etc.) appropriate to their vaccination status as advised by public health officials or to their individual vulnerabilities as advised by a medical professional. Public convening may not be safe for all and carries a risk for contracting COVID-19, particularly for those unvaccinated. Participants will not know the vaccination status of others and should follow appropriate risk mitigation measures.

If you have any questions about access or to request a reasonable accommodation that will facilitate your full participation in this event such as ASL interpreting, captioned videos, Braille or electronic text, food options for individuals with dietary restrictions, etc. please contact the event organizer.