Strategies for Integrating Spirituality in Therapy: Student Perspectives
Smith, Cosette E.H.
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Spirituality and religion are considered an important aspect of the human experience and is considered to be valuable to the practice of Couples and Family Therapy (CFT). However, there is nothing in the literature that speaks to what students find most helpful in preparing them to integrate spirituality and religion into their clinical work. The study utilized data from a secondary data set, which was part of a larger study that surveyed 341 master's and doctoral students from programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education; however, a sample of 230 participants was used for this study. The purpose of this study was to explore the following research question; what are couples and family students being taught about integrating spirituality into their clinical work that they find helpful? Inductive thematic analysis was used to code participant answers to an open-ended question. Findings suggest that while some training programs are teaching students strategies related to integrating spirituality into therapy, these strategies appear to be introductory in nature and may lack the level of specificity needed for students to more fully integrate spirituality in a meaningful way.