Empirical Dimensions of Addressing Religion and Spirituality in the Practice of Psychotherapy

Project Staff: George Stavros, Ph.D., and Cristian Onofrei, MS

Description of the Research Study

This research study is designed to investigate the question: what does it mean to practice psychotherapy that addresses, takes into account, or is sensitive to, religious and spiritual issues and sensibilities? Currently we are pursuing the first phase of a larger project that seeks to understand the unique factors, dimensions, and characteristics of psychotherapies and psychotherapists in which spiritual and religious issues are intentionally considered and referred for the purposes of this research study as “Religion, Spirituality, and Psychotherapy” (RSP). More specifically, what are particular dimensions or factors of RSP practice?

Who can participate in the study?

Individuals who practice psychotherapy may participate. Participants can be professionals from a variety of mental health and religious professions: licensed clinical or counseling psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, certified pastoral counselors, psychiatrists, licensed practical nurses in psychiatry, etc.

Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to generate a pool of items that can subsequently be used to develop and validate qualitative and quantitative instruments, which can in turn be used in psychotherapy outcomes research, by surveying a diverse range of RSP practitioners.

NOTE: This study has been approved by the Boston University Institutional Review Board.