Alumni & Friends
Don't Chase Rabbits feature image

Working effectively with clients
on matters of spirituality

MTSO presents a training workshop for clinical professionals
July 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 
Update: Four CEU have been approved, along with the previously approved four RCH.

Frank Buchman, the influential and controversial founder of the Oxford Group, compared addressing large groups to “chasing rabbits with a brass band.” That seems an apt metaphor for some of the issues clinicians face when working with religious clients, or when discussing spirituality and a “higher power” with any clients.

We ask our clients to assess their spiritual growth and evaluate their sober supports, which may include a faith community. But what if it doesn’t? Or, on the flip side, what if their expression of deep faith leads to uncomfortable proselytizing in a group setting?

We may shy away from discussions about God, and we may be uncomfortable talking with clients about the process of finding a higher power – even though we tell them they need to have one. It can be tempting to abdicate that subject to 12-step recovery groups, falling back on the phrase “God as you understand God.” Yet we know we owe our clients a better approach.

So, how do we…

  • Answer the question: Are 12-step groups religious?
  • Affirm that a “higher power” doesn’t need to involve the supernatural?
  • Work with agnostic or atheist clients?
  • Avoid alienating clients who are reluctant to discuss spirituality?
  • Allow religious clients to discuss their faith without proselytizing?

This workshop, “Don’t Chase Rabbits with a Brass Band: Working with Clients on the Spirituality Issue,” will help professionals create a safe and welcoming environment for all of our clients. Additionally, it will offer strategies to encourage non-religious clients to find ways of connecting with a philosophically congruent world view supporting the principles of recovery.


Linda Mercadante, Ph.D., MTSO professor in the Straker Chair of Historical Theology

Donna Sigl-Davies, PCC, clinician in private practice, MTSO adjunct faculty member

Jennifer Haywood, LISW, LICDC, clinician in private practice

Laurie Anderson, LPCC-S, clinician in private practice

Bradford Price, Ph.D., clinician in private practice, MTSO adjunct faculty member

Ed Sweeney

Nadia Higgins, LCDC II

Sally Murphy, MA, LICDC, chemical dependency counselor at Cornerstone of Recovery, MTSO admissions recruiter

Tuition, credits and registration

Your prepaid tuition of $25 covers all sessions and lunch. (You may request a vegetarian meal as you complete our online registration form.)

By completing this workshop, you will earn four RCH and four CEU.

The registration deadline is July 15. Space is limited.

Register now.


This event will be held on the campus of Methodist Theological School in Ohio, 3081 Columbus Pike in Delaware, Ohio. Here’s a Google map. From Columbus, it’s easily reached by traveling 10 miles north of I-270 on U.S. Route 23. Ample free parking is provided.

More information

To learn more, contact Sally Murphy at 740-362-3447 or

Register now.