Honoring Religious Diversity and Universal Spirituality in Psychotherapy

P. Scott Richards

in The Oxford Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199729920
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Honoring Religious Diversity and Universal Spirituality in Psychotherapy


Spirituality is a universal human concern and capacity, but there is great diversity in the world concerning how spirituality is understood and practiced. Within this context of diversity, it is a challenging task for psychotherapists to learn how to ethically and effectively work with spiritual issues during treatment in order to facilitate their clients’ journeys of healing and growth. This chapter describes some principles and practices that may assist psychotherapists in their efforts to succeed at this important challenge, including seeking understanding and competency in religious and spiritual aspects of diversity, selecting a spiritually oriented treatment framework and approach, finding common spiritual ground with clients, and creating a spiritual space that helps clients access the resources of their faith and spirituality during their healing journeys. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of future directions and needs in this domain.

Keywords: psychotherapy; spirituality; religious diversity; counseling; theism; training; research

Article.  12791 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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