Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


Over the years. various models have been developed for optimal mental health service delivery to various populations. The Christian community is not exempt from this evolutionary process which is affected by culture, technology, economics and research_ This study investigated attitudes of Conservative Evangelical Christians coward professional outpatient mental health service delivery. and examined six research questions which investigated {a) perception of antagonism between Christianity and psychology: (b) utilization of mental health services in the past; (c) perceived degree of pastoral influence on views toward psychology; (d) factors thought to be significant in shaping present attitudes toward psychology; (e) differences between rural and urban respondents, and (f) suggested steps that counselors might take to facilitate a comfortable counseling relationship with a Conservative Evangelical Christian client. Participants included 549 individuals (524 parishioners and 25 pastors), representing 12 churches from 3 denominations (Conservative Baptist, Evangelical Church of North America [ECNAJ, and Christian Independent). Churches were selected based on their representation as "Conservative Evangelical." Both rural and urban locales in the Pacific Northwest United States were represented in the sample. Congregant attitudes coward professional mental health services were influenced by many factors. the most important being "Family and Friends" and "Personal Experience." Professional clergy had less influence on congregant attitude than was expected. The theme~ of "Compassion", "Christian commitment", and "Connection" were important to respond ems for the facilitation of a comfortable professional relationship with a mental health counselor By understanding current Evangelical attitudes toward professional mental health services, as well as 1he factors 1ha1 shape those attitudes, practitioners interested in serving this population can formulate appropriate service models, marketing approaches, and treatment interventions 10 better serve the needs of1he Conservative Evangelical Church community.

Included in

Psychology Commons