Keynote: Of/As/And? How to relate psychology and religion in the therapeutic space.

Jane Hunt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In the light of Freud's (1927, 1939) criticism of religion as a form of illusion or wish fulfilment, the relationship between religion, counselling and psychotherapy has been characterised by tension. Recent research in the US and Europe has shown that therapists and psychologists on the whole tend to be less religious or spiritual than their clients (Bergin 1990; Delaney et al. 2007). Nevertheless, research indicates that therapists – whether themselves religious or not – would like more input around religion and spirituality during their training, and often feel ill-equipped to work with religious clients (Hofman & Walach 2011). If this is the case, how should counsellors and psychotherapists conceptualise the relationship between religion, counselling and psychotherapy? How should we work with religion in the psychotherapeutic space?In this talk I will map out three positions regarding the relationship between religion and psychotherapy under the headings: psychology of religion; psychology as religion; and psychology and religion. This talk is an opportunity to explore how as practitioners we approach working with religious clients or clients wanting to explore religious issues in therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12th Keele Counselling (Research and Practice) Conference:Spirituality, faith and religion in the therapeutic space
Publication statusUnpublished - Apr 2018

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