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What sort of psychotherapeutic approaches might work well with a client who identifies as Muslim, and would they be different from what might work well with a client who identifies as Christian, a client who identifies as atheistic, or client who identifies as Buddhist? Despite ethical commitments to religiosity and spirituality training, it seems that most training programs in professional psychology have neglected to incorporate content from these areas of diversity into their curricula. The current study evaluated religious and spiritual diversity training in both APA-accredited doctoral programs and predoctoral internships, garnering the perspectives of 292 students, interns, faculty, and training directors (54.9% response rate). Results revealed a clear hierarchy of preparatory efforts with regard to diversity training, with least attention given to the dimensions of diversity pertaining to disabilities, age, religion, and spirituality. Participants also perceived several areas of advanced competency to be neglected, including preparation efforts related to consultation with religious and spiritual leaders and understanding the major world religions and spiritual systems. The findings also revealed that doctoral programs and predoctoral internships rely on informal and unsystematic sources of learning to provide training in religious and spiritual dimensions of diversity, including clinical experiences and peer interaction. Coursework, research, and didactics are rarely used to enhance religious and spiritual diversity training. Implications regarding current perceptions of training in religious and spiritual diversity are included.


Originally published in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 44(3), 158-167. doi: 10.1037/a0032472

This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.

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