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Title: A question of finding harmony: A grounded theory study of clinical psychologists' experience of addressing spiritual beliefs in therapy
Authors: Crossley, Jon P.
Salter, Denis P.
First Published: Sep-2005
Publisher: British Psychological Society
Citation: Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 2005, 78 (3), pp. 295–313
Abstract: In spite of the increasing emphasis upon spirituality in the psychological literature, research continues to highlight concerns that issues relating to spirituality are regularly overlooked within a therapeutic setting. The aim of the current study was to develop an account of the way in which clinical psychologists understand and address spirituality within therapy. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight clinical psychologists. The transcripts were analysed using the qualitative methodology of grounded theory, which also informed the data collection process. Two core categories were developed and termed ‘spirituality as an elusive concept’ and ‘finding harmony with spiritual beliefs’. The diversity of meaning surrounding spirituality and the relative lack of engagement was found to create difficulty for constructing spirituality coherently as a concept. When specifically considering methods for identifying and addressing spiritual beliefs, contrasting approaches were identified. This diversity in understanding and approach has implications for the process and outcome of therapy, which are discussed in detail. Recommendations are suggested for developing spirituality as a more coherent and accessible concept, both within professional dialogue and the therapeutic context.
DOI Link: 10.1348/147608305X26783
ISSN: 1476-0835
eISSN: 2044-8341
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: © 2005 The British Psychological Society
Description: Deposited with reference to the publisher’s archiving policy available on the SHERPA/RoMEO website. The definitive version is available at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Psychology

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