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Title: How British NHS clinical psychologists talk about their experiences of considering spirituality in therapeutic sessions
Author: Mulla, Aayesha
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 8463
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2011
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A study was carried out to explore how clinical psychologists in the British National Health Service talk about considering spirituality in therapeutic sessions. Interest in the relationship between spirituality and psychology has waxed and waned; from a point of shared origins (Hall, Francis & Callaghan, 2011) to Freud (1927) and Skinner (1953) seemingly rejecting spirituality. Psychologists gained a reputation of being dismissive or pathologising of clients' beliefs and of being a secular profession (Shafranske & Malony, 1990; Patel & Shikonga, 2006). This view is now being challenged (Smith & Orlinksy, 2004). Towards the end of the last century interest in the area has increased exponentially (Emmons & Paloutzian, 2003) showing the potential impact a client's spirituality might have on their emotional well-being (e.g. Hackney & Sanders, 2003). The difficulty of terminologies such as 'faith', 'religion' and spirituality' is acknowledged (Zinnbauer et al, 2001). Twelve British CPs were interviewed about their experiences of including spirituality in clinical practice. Data were analysed using Grounded Theory (Charmaz, 2010). Key findings were: including people's spiritual beliefs in sessions, in formulations and interventions had much positive value in terms of engagement and outcome; participants felt that there was a greater need for tolerance, open discussion and more adequate training in working with people's spiritual beliefs; they encountered negative reactions from colleagues when discussing spirituality which results in spirituality in clinical settings not receiving as much attention in team discussions or training courses as other aspects of clients' lives. Recommendations include improving training courses pre and post qualification to encourage greater tolerance and sensitivity, developing CPs greater feelings of competence in working with spirituality in clinical practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available