Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Psychological and Quantitative Foundations
William M. Liu
Multicultural competence is widely considered to be an integral part of psychological research, theory, training, and effective as well as ethical practice. While some specific components of culture have received significant attention in multicultural literature and practice, religion remains an often-neglected component of culture, with little research, training, and practical guidelines available on the topic. The current study investigated potential therapy clients' perceptions of the helpfulness of two different therapist approaches to addressing religious concerns in order to identify the approach that clients find more helpful and promote its use in practice and training. One approach was characterized by basic counseling skills, such as empathy and reflection, while the other demonstrated specific knowledge and skills for working with religious concerns. University student participants completed a measure of their religious commitment (the RCI-10), watched one of two videos depicting the therapy approaches, and rated the therapist's helpfulness and credibility. Results revealed no statistically significant differences between therapist ratings completed by participants who watched different videos or endorsed different levels of personal religious commitment. These findings suggest that not all client groups may place high importance on discussions of religion in therapy, and highlight the need for therapists to assess clients' religiosity and desire to address religious issues in counseling in order to tailor their interventions to particular clients' needs.
Copyright 2010 Alice Fridman