PACFA has published a literature review on the effectiveness of spiritual/religious interventions in psychotherapy and counselling. The review, titled The effectiveness of spiritual/religious interventions in psychotherapy and counselling: a review of the recent literature was undertaken by Julianne J. Ross, Prof Gerard A. Kennedy and Dr Francis A. Macnab from The Cairnmillar Institute.
The literature review is now available for download at the PACFA website.
Research shows that spirituality and religion/religious (S/R) beliefs are factors that have both positive and negative influence on psychological and physical health. This article presents an overview of recent investigations of the effectiveness of S/R interventions in psychotherapy and counselling, with a focus on studies published post-2010. Positive outcomes of S/R accommodative interventions have been reported for a variety of client concerns including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and coping with physical illness. The literature presents arguments and evidence for why and how issues of S/R may be considered in therapy. Issues of assessment and methods by which to incorporate S/R interventions are presented. However, small sample sizes and homogenous groups of participants limit the generalizability of some findings. More scientifically rigorous investigations would help to identify the most effective S/R interventions and methods by which to incorporate in psychotherapy and counselling.