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We surveyed a total of 315 spiritual directors, psychologist members of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS), and psychologist members of the American Psychological Association (APA) to determine their respective values on ten mental health themes derived from Jensen and Bergin (1988), and three spirituality scales drawn from the writings of John of the Cross. All three groups endorsed the value of expressing feelings, personal autonomy and maturity, and integrating work and leisure. CAPS psychologists and spiritual directors endorsed more than APA psychologists the values of spirituality, forgiveness, and the three John of the Cross scales. Spiritual directors reported greater endorsement of the self-awareness and growth theme than did psychodynamic psychologists who, in turn, reported greater endorsement than cognitive-behavioral psychologists. The results are examined in light of the pre-Enlightenment paradigm and value system in which spiritual direction and Christian theology are rooted.


Originally published in the Journal of Psychology and Theology, 28, 308-320.

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