A SURVEY OF UNIVERSITY COUNSELING CENTER THERAPISTS: WORKING WITH CLIENTS WHO HAVE RELIGIOUS/SPIRITUAL ISSUES

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2005-08-04

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University counseling center therapists (n = 220) completed an internet survey about one of their recent therapy cases in which the clients' issues involved religion/spirituality (RS). Responses were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Common RS issues for clients involved questioning one's childhood religion, exploring RS beliefs, and using client's RS as a source of strength. The similarity of therapist and client RS values is not related to the strength of the therapeutic relationship. A therapist's religious commitment is related to both the goals that therapist considers important when working with RS issues and to how frequently the therapist uses religiously/spiritually-oriented interventions. Regarding training, therapist self-efficacy in working with RS issues is positively related to the amount of training the therapist has engaged in about how to work with RS issues. Implications for practice, research, and training are discussed.

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