Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Collin Hollidge

Abstract

Research has been demonstrating the benefits of utilizing spiritual and religious interventions to mitigate symptoms of emotional difficulties in clients that enter therapy. This study specifically aims to investigate Christian therapists’ perceptions on the use of prayer in psychotherapy. Four licensed Christian therapists were interviewed in regard to the following areas: demographics, how prayer is used in therapy, therapist’s perceptions on the use of prayer in therapy, and therapist’s perceptions on the effectiveness of prayer in mitigating symptoms of emotional difficulty. The major themes from the data demonstrate that Christian therapists approach the use of prayer in a client-focused and non-directive way, the use and efficacy of prayer is dependent upon the client, and that prayer has positive outcomes for the client in regard to mitigating symptoms of emotional difficulties. The findings of the current study highlights the sensitive nature of utilizing prayer in therapy with clients, and that it can also be beneficial, both for the therapeutic relationship and in mitigating symptoms of emotional difficulties in clients.

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