Addressing spiritual and religious issues that altogether encompass the issue of theology in the context of counseling relationships may be beneficial to many patients and for this reason is currently practiced by many counselors. Researchers have begun to identify factors that are associated with therapists' use of theology in counseling, especially in therapists' personal religious attitudes or behaviors (DiBlasio, 1993; Prest, Russel, & D'Souza, 1999) and with therapists' training in religious issues (Forbes, 1995)…
Other factors that may relate to therapists' use of theology interventions in counseling, such as their professional beliefs, attitudes, or values regarding religious and spiritual interventions; clinical training involving religious issues; or personal counseling experiences with a therapist who used religion and spirituality in counseling, have yet to be investigated.
The purpose of the current paper is to examine the importance of theology in counseling. First, we review the research previously done in theology for counseling, further we present the importance of theology in counseling of depression.
The most frequently identified factor associated with the use of theology in counseling has been therapists' personal religious attitudes or behaviors. Church attendance and personal religious behaviors, in particular, correlate with therapists' use of religious and spiritual interventions in counseling. For example, Shafranske and Malony (1990b) surveyed 409 clinical psychologists and found that greater involvement in organized religion correlated .27 with the use of religious and spiritual interventions. Jones et al. ...
f four religious behaviors (i.e., personal prayer and Bible study, church attendance, participation in church activities, and financial contributions to church) correlated .41 with the use of religious and spiritual interventions in counseling.
The use of theology in counseling has also been found to relate to therapists' religious attitudes. In two separate surveys of 409 and 47 clinical psychologists, Shafranske and Malony (1990a, 1990b) found that clinical psychologists who approached religion in terms of answering personal questions of meaning rather than religious affiliation were more likely to use religious and spiritual interventions in counseling and to consider themselves competent to use such interventions. In a similar vein, DiBlasio and his colleagues (DiBlasio, 1993; DiBlasio & Benda, 1991; DiBlasio & Proctor, 1993) found in several studies of social workers and marriage and family therapists that therapists who endorsed a greater degree of what they termed "religious openness" were more likely to use forgiveness as an intervention in counseling.
Thus, previous research has found that both religious attitudes (particularly attitudes of openness and of gaining personal meaning from religion) and religious behaviors have correlated with the use of religious and spiritual interventions in counseling. Among religious behaviors, both church attendance and personal religious behaviors, such as personal prayer and personal Bible study, have been particularly relevant to the use of religious and spiritual interventions in counseling. Of relevance to our study is the fact that previous studies have typically examined religious attitudes or religious behaviors independently of each other rather than examining them concurrently. Worthington, Kurusu, McCullough, ...
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