Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


Despite the increasing attention being given to understanding the relationship between psychology and Christianity, there is little research investigating the actual practices of Christian psychotherapists. This study explored the use of Christian counseling techniques by Christian therapists. Specifically, it identified a set of variables which predicted the use of certain Christian counseling techniques among Christian therapist members of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies (CAPS, USA) and described the range and frequency of their use. Participants were 450 randomly sampled, clinical members of CAPS. Of the 450 surveyed, 340 responded, resulting in a 76% return rate. The total sample was split in half to produce two sub samples, representing the developmental and cross-validation samples. The criterion (dependent) variable was the use of Christian counseling techniques represented by the global score from the Christian counseling Techniques Inventory (CCTI). There were eleven predictor (independent) variables measuring Spiritual Well Being, Religiosity, and various demographic variables. Stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to identify the variables which best predicted CCTI scores. A regression analysis was performed on the developmental and cross-validation samples, both of which produced significant predictor equations. The regression analysis on the developmental sample chose four significant predictor variables: Spiritual Well Being, Counselor Approach, Practice of Personal Religious Disciplines, and Gender, accounting for 22% of the total variance of Christian counseling technique use. The cross-validation procedure also produced a significant regression equation. Spiritual Well Being, Counselor Approach, and Practice of Personal Devotions entered the equation, accounting for 15% of the total variance. Although limited information is available on the reliability and validity of the CCTI and the sample was rather homogeneous, these results provide an important step in clarifying the place of Christian counseling techniques in therapy. The study revealed that CAPS therapists profess to be highly religious, report frequent use of Christian counseling techniques in their therapy practice, and are more likely to use these techniques if they have high spiritual well being, tend to be directive in their approach, and have personal devotions more frequently. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are included.

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Psychology Commons