A sample of 95 Christian and 68 Non-Christian mental health professionals were given a picture of either an overweight or average-weight male or female client and a generic case vignette. Participants were asked to make clinical judgments of pathology and client attributions for the pictured client. Results indicated that mental health professionals ascribe more pathology and negative attributes to obese clients than to average-weight clients. In addition, Christian mental health professionals are just as likely as non-Christians to ascribe more negative attributes to obese clients. Ways to remove barriers to unbiased psychotherapy and deal with countertransference issues are discussed from a Christian perspective.
Hassel, Tricia Duncan; Amici, Carol J.; Thurston, Nancy S.; and Gorsuch, Richard L., "Client Weight as a Barrier to Non-Biased Clinical Judgment" (2001). Faculty Publications - Grad School of Clinical Psychology. 121.