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The work of psychologists can be stressful and demanding, which calls for an understanding of how psychologists cope with the stress of their work and how they prevent distress by establishing habits of well-functioning. Previous studies on psychologists’ well-functioning and coping behaviors have not considered the role of spiritual practices in the life of the professional. 400 psychologists (69% response rate) returned questionnaires rating their levels of distress, coping behaviors, methods of well-functioning, and religious coping. No overall differences were observed in levels of distress between more religious and less religious psychologists. Spiritual practices, especially attending religious services and prayer/meditation, were among the most frequently endorsed for a reli- gious subset of the sample. Spiritual practices also appear to play an important role in the prevention of distress for religious psychologists, in that spiritual practices appear to be the first line of defense against distress and are considered to play a very important role in functioning well as a professional.


Originally publishing in the Journal of Psychology and Theology, 29, 29-40.

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