Religion and Spirituality in Psychology – New Competencies for Psychologists

_58A9497 2sqSofia’s PsyD program has always viewed religion and spirituality as important aspects of human diversity that should receive attention in cultural competence training for psychologists. However most psychologists receive little or no training in religious and spiritual issues, in part because no agreed upon set of spiritual competencies or training guidelines exist.

In response to this need, David Lukoff and 4 coauthors have developed a set of spiritual and religious competencies for psychologists based on:

1) a comprehensive literature review,

2) a focus group with scholars and clinicians, and

3) an online survey of 184 scholars and clinicians experienced in the integration of SRBP and psychology.

These were published in a 2013 article in the APA journal that is among the most popular downloads of the journal Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

In a second study that was just accepted for study in another APA journal (Spirituality in Clinical Practice), the same authors conducted a survey to determine whether these competencies would be more broadly acceptable to practicing clinicians. Results indicated a large degree of support for the proposed competencies.

This research creates an opening for the wider field to address the critical religious and spiritual issues and strengths of clients.

Blog by David Lukoff, Ph.D.

Published article: Vieten, C., Scammell, S., Pilato, R., Ammondson, I., Pargament, K. I. , & Lukoff, D. (2013). Spiritual and Religious Competencies for Psychologists.

Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 5(3), 129-144.

New article accepted for publication 7-9-2015:

Competencies for Psychologists in the Domains of Religion and Spirituality

In: Spirituality in Clinical Practice

ITP-logo_smallAbout The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University

Since 1975, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University has continued to be an international leader and pioneer, moving humanity forward in the areas of transpersonal research and transpersonal education. training clinicians, spiritual guides, wellness caregivers, and consultants who apply transpersonal principles and values in a variety of settings.  The Sofia educational model offers students not only a solid intellectual foundation, but an extraordinary opportunity for deep transformational growth and personal experience of the subject matter. How does Sofia University accomplish this? The university builds upon its strong, whole-person psychological foundation to give students a greater understanding of the human condition.

Learn more about our programs.

One thought on “Religion and Spirituality in Psychology – New Competencies for Psychologists

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  1. Bravo, David (et al) totally on track — as a lovely 95 yo lady once said of the Bible — ‘there is a bit of psychology in that (i.e. the Bible)’ — I dare say in any religious tradition. The psychy & spirit are intricately twined, in my studied opinion. Thanks for these links.


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