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The counsellor has an ethical obligation to treat the whole person. Humans are cultural beings and the foundation of most cultures is religion. Religion and culture are received from our early relation~ ships and modified through later relationships across the lifespan. The paper introduces the term "culture ontogeny" to emphasize that this is a biological process wherein abstract ideas of culture and religion become material in the developing neurophysiology of each brain. A framework and methods are offered to examine the changing roles of religion in clients' emotional self~ structure, inclusive of those who describe themselves as spiritual, not religious. A case study is reviewed examining the effects of dissonance between early developmental God Image and later God Concept on adult functioning, with an example of assessment and treatment to improve mental health. Assessment of this dissonance is recommended to understand and treat the traumatic spiritual disruptions experienced by veterans.



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