Counselling Psychologists’ experience of working with religious clients, what has helped and/or hindered their work, and what might benefit it: an exploration in the context of the historical relationship between religious faith and psychotherapy

DCPsych thesis


Tayler, L. 2023. Counselling Psychologists’ experience of working with religious clients, what has helped and/or hindered their work, and what might benefit it: an exploration in the context of the historical relationship between religious faith and psychotherapy. DCPsych thesis Middlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC) Psychology
TypeDCPsych thesis
TitleCounselling Psychologists’ experience of working with religious clients, what has helped and/or hindered their work, and what might benefit it: an exploration in the context of the historical relationship between religious faith and psychotherapy
AuthorsTayler, L.
Abstract

The experiences of Counselling Psychologists when working with religious clients, in the historical context of the relationship between psychotherapy and religious faith, were explored using Narrative Inquiry as the research methodology. The participants were nine qualified and practicing Counselling Psychologists of different ages and genders, from different cultural backgrounds, holding a range of different positions on religious faith, with one being a committed Christian, one loosely a non-conformist Christian, one a traditional Muslim, one belonging to a philosophical branch of Islam, one not religious but currently reflecting on religious faith, two agnostic, one spiritual but not religious, and one not religious but a Humanist; they were trained in five different training institutions in the South-East of England, qualifying between 2004 and 2021.

The findings established what had helped and/or hindered the participants’ work with religious clients, and what might benefit it, as well gained some insight into their perception of the similarities and differences between religious faith and spirituality, and the relationship between religious faith and mental health. Whilst the Counselling Psychologists worked well with religious clients, helped by their integrative approach to counselling and psychotherapy, together with their own life experiences, and studies, and in a few cases, religious faith Chaplains, they were hindered primarily by a lack of specific training in working with religious clients. They considered the work of Counselling Psychologists would benefit by the inclusion of a mandatory core module in initial training, as well as CPD activities, that covered working with this client group, and was taught by believing religious lecturers.

This research was limited to Counselling Psychologists and further similar research needs to be carried out with different groups of professionals working in the psychotherapeutic communities. It would also be beneficial for research to be carried out within the different faith traditions to gain their perspective.

KeywordsCounselling Psychologists; Psychotherapy; Religious Faith; Spirituality; Religious Development; Spiritual Development; Faith Development; Spiritual Direction; Mental health
Sustainable Development Goals3 Good health and well-being
Middlesex University ThemeHealth & Wellbeing
LanguageEnglish
Department namePsychology
Science and Technology
Institution nameMiddlesex University / New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
Collaborating institutionNew School of Psychotherapy and Counselling (NSPC)
PublisherMiddlesex University Research Repository
Publication dates
Online20 Mar 2024
Publication process dates
Accepted16 Aug 2023
Deposited20 Mar 2024
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
File Access Level
Open
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https://repository.mdx.ac.uk/item/112288

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Accepted author manuscript
LMTayler thesis.pdf
File access level: Open

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