PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY: RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
Plante, T.G. (1999).
A collaborative relationship between professional psychology and the Roman Catholic Church: A case example and suggested principles for success Vol. 30 (6), 541-546
In this article, Plante describes the collaborative relationship that has begun to develop between the psychological and religious communities. For many years, this relationship was strained and had been maintained by a passive indifference. Within the general profession of psychology, matters of religion and faith tended to be undervalued and often dismissed. As religious behavior became associated with a cultural identification rather than merely based on faith, it became more acceptable. For many psychologists today, religion and spirituality are 'in vogue.'
The purpose of the article is to detail one psychologist's experience in developing a close working relationship with both clergy and parishioners of the Roman Catholic Church and highlight useful principles for others interested in collaboration between psychology and religious communities. Plante details how psychological evaluations are now done on clergy applicants and how evaluation and treatment of clergy experiencing emotional or behavioral problems are effectively handled.
The author outlines several principles of collaboration that include: understanding the client's religious system, knowing the language, networking, expanding your view of what you can do to help, and providing the highest standard of professional and ethical service. Many unique yet predictable challenges often emerge when psychologists work closely with religious communities. So Plante concludes by describing challenges to consider such as confidentiality, boundary issues, and countertransference.
JOURNAL OF COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY
Rose, E., Westefeld, J., & Ansley, T. (2001).
Spiritual issues in counseling: Client's beliefs and preferences
Vol. 48 (1), 61-71.
This empirical study assessed psychotherapy clients' beliefs about the appropriateness of discussing religious and spiritual concerns in counseling, clients' preferences for such discussion, and identification of an explanatory variable for these beliefs and preferences. These variables were assessed using the Client Attitudes Toward Spirituality in Therapy survey, the Index of Spiritual Experiences, the Expectations About Counseling-Brief form, the Socially Desirable Response Set-5 Scale, and the Religion Section of the Mooney Problem Check List-Adult Form.
With more than 90% of Americans reporting some religious preference, it is clear that religion is important to Americans, however, no research to date has specifically examined whether clients wish to discuss spiritual issues in therapy or believe that it is appropriate to do so. Rose, Westefeld, and Ansley surveyed 74 participants (Christian and non-Christian) from seven different types of counseling centers and private practices. The participants completed all of the aforementioned instruments.
The results showed that clients believed religious concerns were appropriate for discussion in counseling and had a preference for discussing spiritual and religious issues in counseling. Of the variables examined in this study, the level of past spiritual experience accounted for a substantial portion of variance and therefore was the most potent variable for explaining preferences for discussing spiritual issues. Thus it is possible that the clients with the greatest desire to discuss religious and spiritual issues are those with the most past spiritual experience. Contrary to the implications of previous research, expectations concerning counselors, previous counseling experience, and religious problems did not significantly explain either beliefs about appropriateness or preferences for discussing religious and spiritual issues. Limitations of the study are also discussed.
CULTURAL DIVERSITY AND ETHNIC MINORITY PSYCHOLOGY
Tarakeshwar, N., Pargament, K., & Mahoney, A. (2003).
Measures of Hindu pathways: Development and preliminary evidence of reliability and validity
Vol. 9 (4), 316-332
Many empirical studies in the United States have examined the relationship between different facets of religiousness and individual or family functioning. Most of this research has focused on Christian samples. In light of the influx of Asians and other ethnic minorities in the United States, researchers have noted the need to validate results obtained in Christian samples across other religious traditions. In this study, the authors examined religious practices of Hindus in the United States and developed measures of their religious pathways.
Hinduism is characterized by the drive toward the realization of the innermost nature of an individual's being by achieving unity of one's spirit with the Supreme Being. The major tenets of Hinduism are: karma, ideals of moral life, paths to achieve ideals, the caste system, stages of life, and 16 different ritual practices.
Based on reviews of the psychology of religion, Hindu literature, and interviews with Hindus, 4 religious pathways were identified: devotion, ethical action, knowledge, and physical restraint/yoga. Items reflecting these pathways were generated and administered to a pilot sample and then mailed to a sample across the United States. Consistent with Hindu theology, participants endorsed 4 religious pathways. The first pathway, devotion, was comprised of rituals of daily prayer, breathing exercises, music, chanting, and reading religious scriptures. Ethical action referred to values of honesty and respect for others, and performing good deeds for others without expecting returns. For many Hindus the pursuit of knowledge is in itself religious. The most common pathway of knowledge is through reading religious scriptures such as the Gita and other popular Hindu epics. The fourth pathway is physical restraint/yoga which is practiced through meditation and fasting, and is considered a way of exercising control over the mind.
Results of this study indicated that the measures of the religious pathways possessed adequate psychometric properties and were predictive of mental and physical well-being. Additional findings emphasized the need to attend to age, marital status, and acculturation when studying religious practices among Hindus. Through this study, the authors determined that Hindus in the United States do report integrating the Hindu theological constructs into their lives.
HISTORY OF PSYCHOLOGY
Vande Kemp, H. (2002).
Making the history of psychology clinically and philosophically relevant
Vol. 5 (3), 224-239
The author discusses ways to make the history of psychology course relevant for a clinical psychology doctoral program within a multidenominational Protestant theological seminary. She uses a personalist orientation to emphasize the need to integrate psychology, philosophy, and theology. As a graduate faculty member who has spent 25 years teaching the history and systems of psychology, Vande Kemp is devoted to this integration. She says, "I have been challenged to make the history of psychology clinically relevant and explicitly to connect its subject matter to the content of courses in church history, historical and philosophical theology, and pastoral theology." In order to do this, Vande Kemp states that she has found it helpful to construct her course with a strong emphasis on the philosophical-theological roots of psychology that intertwine with its scientific roots.
Vande Kemp teaches a four-dimensional reality by differentiating among the intrapersonal, interpersonal, impersonal, and transpersonal dimensions of experience. In her class, she illustrates the rich multi-disciplinary historical roots of contemporary psychology by tracing the history of the term psychology and examining its meanings in the existential psychology of Soren Kierkegaard and in the 19th century novel. She believes that an understanding of psychology's heritage of diverse roots may facilitate current dialogue between psychologists and representatives of other disciplines and inform the quest for a unified psychology.
In this article the author also includes brief histories of the 'new psychology' and of the unconscious, and she describes how she uses the field of psychotheological integration to illustrate principles of historiography. For example, she regards the 19thcentury Christian phrenologists as pioneer integrators and uses the Christian phrenology movement to understand 20thcentury Christian psychologies. Finally, Vande Kemp summarizes resources used to supplement traditional textbooks on the history and systems of psychology.
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Duckro, P. N., Busch, C., McLaughlin, L. J., & Schroeder, J. (1992). Psychotherapy with religious professionals: An aspect of the interface of psychology and religion. Psychological Reports, 70,304-306.
Fazel, M. K., & Young, D. M. (1988). Life quality of Tibetans and Hindus. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 27, 229-242.
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Mehta, K. K. (1997). The impact of religious beliefs and practices on aging: A cross-cultural comparison. Journal of Aging Studies, 11, 101-114.
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|Title Annotation:||psychology of religion; books; bibliography|
|Publication:||Journal of Psychology and Theology|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2006|
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