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Title: Exploring Religion and Spirituality in Psychological Therapy
Authors: Williams, Venetia
Supervisors: Robertson, Noelle
Bonas, Sheila
First Published: 15-Dec-2017
Award date: 15-Dec-2017
Abstract: Religion and spirituality (R/S) are complex multidimensional constructs of which can appear contrary to the scientific ethos of psychological therapy. However, literature suggests a positive relationship between R/S and psychological health, and ethical guidelines encourage healthcare professionals to accommodate the client’s religious and spiritual beliefs in their therapy. Despite the guidelines, little is known of how psychological therapists deliver R/S accommodative therapy in practice. The focus of this project is to explore the experiences of psychological therapists engaged in therapy that is R/S accommodative. Part One: Critical Literature Review: The literature review explored qualitative research on psychological therapists’ experiences of addressing R/S in therapy, in order to better understand how R/S integration might lead to improved treatment outcomes. Twenty-two papers were identified, critically appraised and analysed using thematic analysis. One core theme: Integrating R/S into Therapy, and five super-ordinates themes; The conceptualisation of R/S; Approaches to R/S material; Conditions for integration; Overcoming challenges; and Learning to integrate, emerged from the data. The review highlighted the need for an awareness of how therapist and client related factors impact the process of R/S accommodative therapy and potential outcomes. Research implications are discussed including the need for more robust studies. Part Two: Empirical Research Report: There is little detailed evidence of how Clinical Psychologists in the UK are including R/S in therapy, therefore the aim of this study was to explore how Clinical Psychologists experience interactions with religiously and/or spiritually committed clients in the clinical context. Five semi-structured interviews were conducted and analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Three dynamically associated superordinate themes emerged: Unchartered territory, Complex meanings of R/S, and Bringing R/S into the room. Clinical and research implications are discussed.
Type: Thesis
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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