Religious Beliefs and Therapeutic Orientations of Clinical and Counseling Psychologists

Author/Creator ORCID




School of Humanities and Social Sciences



Citation of Original Publication

Bilgrave, Dyer P., & Robert H. Deluty. (1998). Religious Beliefs and Therapeutic Orientations of Clinical and Counseling Psychologists. Journal For The Scientific Study Of Religion, (2), 329.




A 65-item questionnaire was used to examine the relations among religious beliefs and psychotherapeutic orientations in a national sample of 237 clinical and counseling psychologists. Sixty-six percent of these psychologists believed in the transcendent; 72% asserted that their religious beliefs influenced their practice of psychotherapy, and 66% claimed that their practice of therapy influenced their religious beliefs. Psychologists who affirmed Christian beliefs tended to endorse the cognitive-behavioral orientation, and those who affirmed Eastern and mystical beliefs tended to endorse humanistic and existential orientations. These findings suggest (a) that most psychologists synthesize personal Weltanschauungen composed of elements derived from both their study of psychology and their exposure to religion and (b) that these syntheses are not random, that specific religious beliefs are differentially associated with specific psychotherapeutic orientations.