Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Kurt M. Gehlert, Nathaniel W. Nelson


Many people believe in God or a higher power and consider religion important in their lives. Even if people do not believe in God or a higher power, they often believe in a connectedness to a force outside themselves that transcends the normal experiences of life: a connectedness to nature, humankind or the universe. People often want an opportunity to talk about their spiritual and religious beliefs in therapy. Training students to include spirituality in psychotherapy has not kept pace with public interest and current ethical and competency guidelines established by the American Psychological Association (APA). Guided by current literature of empirical studies and expert recommendation, this project has developed training modules for graduate students to address spirituality in psychotherapy. The structure of the modules follows the cultural diversity framework of awareness, knowledge and skills in developing competent practice. Modules include self-awareness, understanding the spiritual and religious worldview of the client, knowledge of religions and spiritualties, spiritual development, ethics in religion and spirituality, spiritual assessment, spiritual intervention, referral, consultation, and collaboration. Modules consist of objectives, activities to meet the objectives, and learning material to supplement and define the activity. The modules are independent of one another and can be adapted to many current courses in psychotherapy training such as cultural diversity, life-span development, ethics and practicum supervision courses.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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