This article explores the challenges of training clinical psychology doctoral students in the integration of psychology and Christianity. Our training program is based on a competency model that includes the integration of psychology and Christianity as a specific area of clinical competence. Competence in integmtion is evident in the students' respect and empathy for clients as well as specific knowledge and skills in working from a faim perspective. Training in integration has unique challenges including the variability in practicum supervisors' knowledge and skill in working with religion as an aspect of diversity. Semester evaluations completed by both practicum supervisors and graduate students show that students' competence in integration is often more advanced than the supervisors'. This imbalance can cause discomfort for the supervisor and lead to misunderstanding as students attempt to practice within an integrative framework. The nature of the practicum site often determines how an integrative perspective is incorporated into clinical care. Medical settings and clinics affiliated with faith-based organizations often suppon born an implicit understanding and explicit use of faith as a protective factor. In contrast, forensic settings and school sites tend to limit explicit discussions of faith. It is recommended that training programs incorporate both implicit and explicit opportunities for the integration of Christianity and psychology and increase supervisors' awareness of integration as an aspect of diversity.
Peterson, Mary A., "lntegration of Psychology and Christianity: A Unique Challenge in Clinical Training" (2011). Faculty Publications - Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) Program. 135.