Society for the Teaching of Psychology: Division 2 of the American Psychological Association

Religious and Spiritual Diversity

This resource highlights books, chapters, articles, and additional information related to the intersection of religion, spirituality, and psychology.


Batson, C. D., Schoenrade, P., & Ventis, W. L. (1993). Religion and the individual: A social-psychological perspective. New York: Oxford University Press.

The authors examine the research concerning religion and the application of the scientific method to this area of inquiry. They look at the development and impact of religion on the individual within a social psychological framework. The text includes examinations of such dichotomies as whether religion is a source of individual freedom or a method of control, individuality or conformity, and health or mental illness.

Browning, D. S., & Cooper, T. D. (2004). Religious thought and the modern psychologies (2nd ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

From within the context of hermeneutical theory, this text examines the interrelationship between theology and psychology.

Chin, J. L. (Ed.). (2005). The psychology of prejudice and discrimination: Disability, religion, physique, and other traits (Vol. 4). Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.

Part of a four volume set, Volume 4 includes information and research concerning discrimination and prejudice related to religion as form of diversity or difference. This text includes information on means to address religious prejudice and discrimination.

Corrigan, J. (Ed.). (2004). Religion and emotion: Approaches and interpretations. New York: Oxford University Press.

This anthology of writings discusses the interplay between religion and emotion from a range of perspectives and disciplines (e.g., history, anthropology, comparative religion, and psychology).

Cox, R. H., Ervin-Cox, B., & Hoffman, L. (Eds.). (2005). Spirituality and psychological health. Colorado Springs: Colorado School of Psychology Press.

This text blends theoretical, scientific, and practical approaches to an examination of spirituality and psychological health. Editors included developmental chapters, chapters on topics such as existentialism, transcendence, and evil, as well as a section on application.

De Silva, P. (2005). An introduction to Buddhist psychology (4th ed.). New York: Palgrave.

This text introduces the fundamentals of Buddhist psychology and includes coverage of a range of topics from motivation and emotion to consciousness and emotional intelligence.

Dowling, E. M., & Scarlett, W. G. (Eds.). (2006). Encyclopedia of religious and spiritual development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

This comprehensive, interdisciplinary reference covers all facets of religious and spiritual development. Each topic consists of short entries written by leading scholars in the field.

Fukuyama, M. A., & Sevig, T. D. (1999). Integrating spirituality into multicultural counseling. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

This book examines the relationship between spirituality and multicultural counseling. Cultural aspects of spirituality and religion are discussed within the context of understanding clients and accessing resources that may be used for client growth and counseling.

Gilbert, R. B. (Ed.). (2002). Health care and spirituality: Listening, assessing, caring. Amityville, NY: Baywood.

This volume stresses the importance of listening in a health care context and an appreciation of religious and spiritual diversity. It includes chapters highlighting not only specific religious and spiritual perspectives (e.g., Judaism, Roman Catholic, Native American, non-affiliated spiritualism) but also different patient populations (e.g., medical, dying, trauma, addicted, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's).

Hood, R. W., Hill, P. C., & Spilka, B. (2009). The psychology of religion: An empirical approach. New York: Guilford Press.

This widely used  psychology of religion text (targeting advanced undergraduate and graduate students) includes discussions of 

religious thought, belief, and behavior across the lifespan,  links between religion and biology, the forms and meaning of religious experience, the social psychology of religious organizations, and connections to morality, coping, mental health, and psychopathology.

Hood, R. W., Hill, P. C., & Williamson, W. P. (2005). The psychology of religious fundamentalism. New York: Guilford Press.

The authors examine religious fundamentalism from within various traditions: the Church of God (Protestant fundamentalists), the snake handling sects, the Amish, and Islamic fundamentalism. They argue that fundamentalists are often misunderstood as their beliefs are not studied in context, from within the framework of their organized belief systems. They draw distinctions between fundamentalists and various religious militant groups.

Houser, R. A., & Domokos-Cheng Ham, M. A. (2004). Gaining power and control through diversity and group affiliation. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.

This text focuses on issues of diversity, social identity, and power, including a chapter on religion and power.

Irish, D. P., Lundquist, K. F., & Nelsen, V. J. (Eds.). (1993). Ethnic variations in dying, death, and grief: Diversity in universality. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis.

This volume covers a broad range of ethnic and cultural variations in related to the needs of the dying as well as grief and bereavement traditions. Religious traditions discussed include Judaism, Buddhism, Islamic, Quaker, and Unitarian.

Kelly, E. W. (1995). Spirituality and religion in counseling and psychotherapy: Diversity in theory and practice. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

The author provides an overview of the need and various facets related to inclusion of spiritual and religious discussions in the psychotherapeutic setting. The volume includes background information related to the major religions, discusses the psychological research and theory concerning spirituality and religion, discusses spirituality/religion and human development, and includes information related to assessment and evaluation. The author examines the interrelationship between spirituality/religion and other forms of diversity such as sexual orientation, ethnicity, and age.

Kirkpatrick, L. A. (2005). Attachment, evolution, and the psychology of religion. New York: Guilford Press.

The author presents a theoretical model of religion based on the interconnections between attachment and evolutionary theory. The volume includes a section concerning parapsychological beliefs.

Kobeisy, A. N. (2004). Counseling American Muslims: Understanding the faith and helping the people. Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.

Aimed at counselors and other clinicians, this text addresses the needs of Muslim clients in a post-9/11 United States. The author addresses the complexity and diversity of Muslims and the Islamic faith, highlights the growth of the Islamic faith in the United States, and provides relevant information and suggestions for counselors who work with Muslim clients.

McMinn, M. R, & Dominquez, A. W. (2005). Psychology and the church. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science.

The authors discuss the historic debates and tensions between psychology and the church. Provides information and principles to increase effective collaboration between the church and the psychology.

Miller, W. R., & Delaney, H. D., (Eds.). (2005). Judeo-Christian perspectives on psychology: Human nature, motivation, and change. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

This text represents the final work commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts to examine the interplay between Judeo-Christian perspective and human nature through the lens of psychology. This text is divided into five sections (Foundations and Context; The Nature of the Human Person; Motivation, Virtues, and Values; Transformation, Change, and Development; and Reflections) with noted scholars contributing to each section.

Morey, P., & Yaqin, A. (2011). Framing Muslims: Stereotyping and representation after 9/11. Cambridge, MA, US: Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Based on an analysis of cultural representations in the United States and the UK, this book explores the sources, construction, methods of dissemination, and functions of  stereotypes of Muslims and explains the ways in which these simplistic representations diverge from the complex reality. 

Paloutzian, R. F., & Park, C. L. (Eds.). (2005). Handbook of the psychology of religion and spirituality. New York: Guilford Press.

This comprehensive handbook outlines the latest in empirical research, integrative theory, and application related to the psychological processes underlying religious behavior and spirituality. The handbook is divided into five sections (Foundations of the Psychology of Religion; Religion Through the Developmental Lens; Religion and Basic Psychology Subdisciplines; The Construction and Expression of Religion; Psychology of Religion and Applied Areas) with 30 chapters written by the leading scholars in the field of psychology and religion.

Ramsey, J. L., & Blieszner, R. (1999). Spiritual resiliency in older women: Models of strength for challenges through the life span. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Particularly useful in relation to counseling and older adults, this text examines spiritual resilience in older women based on focus groups and in-depth interviews with older Lutheran women in the United States and Germany. Part I provides an overview of the cross-cultural methods and underlying research questions involved in this study. Part II provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of these older women examining issues of faith, resilience, loss, emotions, community, and personal relationships. Part III includes general conclusion and discusses the lessons that this research provides for those involved in work with older adults.

Richards, P. S., & Bergin, A. (Eds.). (2000). Handbook of psychotherapy and religious diversity. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

This handbook elucidates the traditions, values, beliefs, and history of more than 24 major religions. Provides useful information related to culturally appropriate clinical practice with individuals from these various traditions.

Richards, P. S., & Bergin, A. E. (2000). Handbook of psychotherapy and religious diversity. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

This book discusses denomination-specific information that can be useful for therapists in working with clients who use their religions as the bases for their worldviews. The religions discussed are seven Christian traditions, and chapters on Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism.

Richards, P. S. & Bergin, A. E. (2005). A spiritual strategy for counseling and psychotherapy (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

The authors provide an overview of the empirical and theoretical literature related to "theistic psychotherapy," emphasizing the importance of those in mental health practices to treatment sensitive of and acknowledging clients religious and spiritual belief systems and lifestyles.

Roehlkepartain, E. C., King, P. E., & Wagener, L. (Eds.). (2006). The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

This comprehensive handbook examines religious and spiritual development from an array of research-based perspectives. This text is highly interdisciplinary and presents research from such disparate fields as neuropsychology, moral development, education, philosophy, cognitive development, and cross-cultural psychology. It includes recommendations concerning public policy, programming, psychotherapy, and methods of research.

Schumaker, J. F. (Ed.). Religion and mental health. New York: Oxford University Press.

Drawing on scholarship from various disciplines such as psychology and anthropology, this edited text explores the historical, cognitive, affective, social, developmental, sociological, and cross-cultural interconnections between religion and mental health.

Spilka, B., Hood, R., Hunsberger, B., & Gorsuch, R. (2003). The psychology of religion: An empirical approach. New York: Guilford Press.

This comprehensive text examines the empirical research literature within domain of psychology and religion. Chapter topics range from religion and biology to developmental issues across the lifespan to mysticism and conversion.

Spilka, B., & McIntosh, D. N. (Eds.). (1997). The psychology of religion: Theoretical approaches. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Examines a broad range of theoretical approaches to the study of psychology and religion. Includes a general introduction, a discussion of the functions and motivations, social psychological implications, developmental approaches, social cognitive perspectives, and chapters related to the experiential elements of religion.

Book Chapters

Batson, C. D., & Stocks, E. L. (2004). Religion: Its core psychological functions. In J. Greenberg, S. L. Koole, & T. Pyszczynski (Eds.), Handbook of experimental existential psychology (pp. 141–155). NewYork: Guilford Press.

Using Maslow's broad theory of both conative and cognitive needs, this article examines religion from an existentialist perspective.

Burke, K. (2006). Religion, spirituality, and health. In S. Gehlert & T. A. Browne (Eds.), Handbook of Health Social Work (pp. 282–304). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

The author takes a broad look at the interrelationships between religion, spirituality, and health. The chapter includes discussion of general themes, historical information, an examination of religion and spirituality as a diversity issue, a discussion of the research, and a discussion of ethics, challenges, and obstacles.

Dudley-Grant, G. R. (2003). Perspectives on spirituality and psychology in ethnic populations. In J. S. Mio & G. Y. Iwamasa (Eds.), Culturally diverse mental health: The challenges of research and resistance (pp. 341–359). New York: Brunner-Routledge.

This chapter discusses the importance of spirituality among People of Color. Most discussions of spirituality and religion are taken from a Western perspective, and while this coincides with many worldviews of People of Color, it leaves out many other cultural practices, particularly those cultures that believe in indigenous healing practices. The chapter examines the roots of spirituality in the African American, Latino, American Indian, and Asian communities and proposes that traditional psychotherapies integrate spiritual practices into the thereauputic framework.

Fischer, A. R., & DeBord, K. A. (2007). Perceived conflicts between affirmation of religious diversity and affirmation of sexual diversity: That's 'perceived.' In K. J. Bieschke, R. M. Perez, & K. A. DeBord (Eds.), Handbook of counseling and psychotherapy with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender clients (2nd ed., pp. 317–339). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

The authors tackle what they see as a much-avoided issue in the field of professional psychology. They discuss the conflict that can arise when the ethical imperatives for psychologists to respect both sexual diversity and religious diversity intersects with the psychologist’s perception that her or his religion denounces same-sex relationships. The authors explore this dilemma and to encourage members of the field to debate openly so they can develop clearly articulated policy, rather than allow the conflicts to be addressed only locally and often individually.

Fontana, D. (2011). The psychology of religion and religious experience. In P. R. Martin, F. M. Cheung, M. C. Knowles, M. Kyrios, L. Littlefield, J. B. Overmier, & J. M.  Prieto (Eds.) IAAP handbook of applied psychology (pp. 603-614). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9781444395150.ch26

The following topics are addressed  in this chapter on the psychology of religion and religious experience: religion as social phenomena, religion and individual psychology, religion as inner experience, mystical experiences, and assessing individual differences in religious orientation.

Fukuyama, M. A., Siahpoush, F., & Sevig, T. D. (2005). Religion and spirituality in a cultural context. In C. S. Cashwell & J. S. Young (Eds.), Integrating spirituality and religion into counseling: A guide to competent practice (pp. 123–142). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

This chapter uses cross-cultural and multicultural perspectives to understand religion and the role it plays in counseling and culture. In addition, the authors examine power and privilege within religion and culture. Finally, they discuss spirituality and growth as well as counseling implications.

Hester, M. P., & Paloutzian, R. F. (2006). Teaching the psychology of religion: Teaching for today's world. In W. Buskist & S. F. Davis (Eds.), Handbook of the teaching of psychology (pp. 207–213). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

This chapter discusses the benefits of adding a psychology of religion course to the curriculum and outlines the orientation and structure of such a course.

Kastel, Z. (2012). Positive relations between members of groups with divergent beliefs and cultures.  In S. Roffey (Ed.), Positive relationships: Evidence based practice across the world (pp. 245-259). New York, NY: Springer.

Based on the experiences of practitioners working with divergent beliefs, this chapter seeks to identify ways in which people with different perspectives about religion and politics can respond appropriately and ethically to tensions arising from these differences.

Klaassen, D. W., McDonald, M. J., & James, S. (2006). Advance in the study of religious and spiritual coping. In P. T. P. Wong & L. C. J. Wong (Eds.), Handbook of multicultural perspectives on stress and coping (pp. 105–132). Dallas, TX: Spring.

This chapter examines the psychology of religious and spiritual coping based on research and theory in the field. Authors include traditional forms of research (e.g., cross-sectional, correlation, longitudinal), cross-cultural research using a range of qualitative methods, and studies of marginalized groups in the United States.

Krause, N. (2006). Religion and health in late life. In J. E. Birren & K. W. Schaie (Eds.), Handbook of the psychology of aging (6th ed., pp. 499–518). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier.

Authors examine the relationship among religion, health, and aging. Six dimensions are discussed: church attendance, social support, prayer, coping, forgiveness, and religious meaning. Each dimension is discussed and their connections to health and well-being in late-life is examined.

Negy, C., & Ferguson, C. J. (2004). Religious bigotry: The neglected 'ism' in multicultural psychology and therapy. In C. Negy (Ed.), Cross-cultural psychotherapy: Toward a critical understanding of diverse clients (pp. 61–73). Reno, NV: Bent Tree Press.

The authors argue that religious diversity is often excluded from work related to multicultural competency and particularly training related to clinical practice. They present examples of the harm caused by the lack of such training and discuss the negative impact failure to recognize one's own bias may have in therapeutic setting on the client. The volume includes a discussion of religious bigotry and coercion primarily, but not exclusively, from within the culture of Christianity.

Robinson-Wood, T. L., & Braithwaite-Hall, M. (2005). Spirit matters: Women, spirituality, and clinical contexts. In M. Mirkin, K. Suyemoto, & B. Okun (Eds.), Psychotherapy with women: Exploring different contexts and identities. New York: Guilford Press.

This chapter considers spirituality within therapeutic contexts. A case study is provided that explores similarities and differences between spirituality and religion. Discussed is the importance of clinicians, as a component of clinical competence, to be open to spirituality, their own and that of their clients, within the therapeutic event.

Sherif-Trask, B. (2005). The challenge of cultural competence: An introduction to working with American Muslims and their families (pp. 269–279). In K. H. Barrett & W. H. George (Eds.), Race, culture, psychology, and law. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

This chapter highlights the importance of cultural competence when working with clients from different cultural and religious backgrounds. The author provides an introduction to the topic of cultural competence when working with Muslims and their families, highlighting the variability within that population.

Siegel, R. J., Choldin, S., & Orost, J. H. (1995). The impact of three patriarchal religions on women.In J. C. Chrisler & A. H. Hemstreet (Eds.), Variations on a theme: Diversity and the psychology of women (pp. 107–144). Albany, NY: State University of New York.

This chapter discusses the role that Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity have on women's lives.

Staton, R., & Cobb, H. (2006). Religion and spirituality. In G. G. Bear & K. Minke (Eds.), Children's needs III: Development, prevention, and intervention (pp. 369–378). Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists.

The authors acknowledge the role that religion and spirituality can play in children's development and their personal identity. This chapter argues that educators need to be aware of their own beliefs and respect children's belief particularly when different. The authors include a discussion of the challenges that may arise when a child's belief may be at odds with what is know about healthy child development from the field of psychology.

Tovian, S. M., Freeman, B. G., & Muhammad, A. R. (2003). One God, one faith, one humanity. In J. D. Robinson & L. C. James (Eds.), Diversity in human interactions: The tapestry of America (pp. 157–173). New York: Oxford University Press.

This chapter addresses the impact that differences in religious beliefs and backgrounds can have on human interactions. The authors provide information concerning the major religions and discusses the impact that religious stereotypes can have on individuals and interactions, Highlighting the current impact of these stereotypes on interactions with individuals from the Islamic faith.

Walsh, F., & Pryce, J. (2003). The spiritual dimension of family life. In F. Walsh (2003). Normal family processes: Growing diversity and complexity (3rd ed., pp. 337–372). New York: Guilford Press.

The authors examine the importance of religion and spirituality as an aspect of interpersonal diversity and discusses the role that these can play in family functioning, coping, and resilience.

Worthington, E. L. (2011).Integration of spirituality and religion into psychotherapy.  In J. C. Norcross, G. R.  VandenBos, & D. K. Freedheim (Eds.), History of psychotherapy: Continuity and change, 2nd ed. (pp. 533-543), Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.  doi:10.1037/12353-033

This chapter discusses several trends supporting the need for therapists to better integrate religion and spirituality into psychotherapy.  These include shifts in immigration,  a stronger presence of  Eastern religion and philosophy, shifts toward cognitive perspectives that allow for the incorporation of value differences, economic pressures toward managed care, and the increased availability of peer counseling.


Ahluwalia, M. K., & Pellettiere, L. (2010). Sikh men post-9/11: Misidentification, discrimination, and coping. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 1(4), 303-314. doi:10.1037/a0022156

This qualitative study examines the post-9/11 experiences of five Sikh men in order to facilitate the multicultural competence of psychologists seeking to understand the experiences of diverse groups. 

Awad, G. H. (2010). The impact of acculturation and religious identification on perceived discrimination for Arab/Middle Eastern Americans. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16(1), 59-67. doi:10.1037/a0016675

This study investigates the effect of acculturation, ethnic identity, and religious affiliation on perceived discrimination for persons of Arab and Middle Eastern descent. Results indicated that Muslims reported a higher level of discrimination than Christians but this finding was moderated by level of acculturation.

Ball, C., & Haque, A. (2003). Diversity in religious practice: Implications of Islamic values in the public workplace. Public Personnel Management, 32, 315–330.

While the Islamic religion may be a minority religion in the United States, it is a major religion worldwide. Moreover, the number of Muslims in the United States is rapidly expanding. Due to recent world events there is a lot of misinformation in the media concerning the Islamic faith. This article describes the basic tenets of Islam, examines court cases relevant to religion and the workplace, and provides information related to Islamic values in the workplace. This is a good adjunct text for industrial/organization or human resources courses.

Bouma, G., Haidar, A., & Nyland, C. (2003). Work, religious diversity and Islam. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 41, 51–61.

The authors discuss Islamic workplace values and issues and sources of overlap with traditional human resource practices, addressing the importance of such understanding in the light of current discrimination against Muslims in many workplace settings.

Boyd-Franklin, N. (2010). Incorporating spirituality and religion into the treatment of African American clients. The Counseling Psychologist, 38(7), 976-1000. doi:10.1177/0011000010374881

Using detailed cases as illustration, this article explores religious diversity in the African American community and makes recommendations for integrating spirituality into the treatment of African American clients.  Religion is presented as a coping mechanisms for dealing with racism, adversity, and loss at different stages of the life cycle.

Briggs, M. K., & Rayle, A. D. (2005). Incorporating spirituality into core counseling courses: Ideas for classroom application. Counseling and Values, 50, 63–75.

This article describes classroom activities related to teaching spirituality and religion as diversity issues in a counseling course.

Duffy, R. D., & Blustein, D. L. (2005). The relationship between spirituality, religiousness, and career adaptability. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 67, 429–440.

This article presents the results of a study that examined the relationship between spirituality, religiousness, and career adaptability using a sample of undergraduate students.

Hage, S. M. (2006). A closer look at the role of spirituality in psychology training programs. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 37, 303–310.

See annotation below.

Hage, S. M., Hopson, A., & Siegel, M. (2006). Multicultural training in spirituality: An interdisciplinary review. Counseling and Values, 50, 217–234.

These two articles review the research concerning multicultural training related to issues of spirituality and religion in counseling and psychology training programs. The authors argue that multicultural competency is incomplete if such issue of spirituality and religion are not addressed and specialized training is not provided.

Habermas, J. (2006). Religion in the Public Sphere. European Journal of Philosophy 14(1): 1-25.

Religion plays an important part in policy making and socio-economical politics. Based on this realization, in this article, Habermas describes some of the most important events in world history and politics that were influenced by religious communities.

Hawkins, I. A., & Bullock, S. L. (1995). Informed consent and religious values: A neglected area of diversity. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 32, 293–300.

The authors discuss ethical issues related to psychotherapy and religious values, arguing that religious position and values must be made explicit in the form of informed consent within the psychotherapeutic context.

Hicks, D. A. (2002). Spiritual and religious diversity in the workplace: Implications for leadership. Leadership Quarterly, 13, 379–396.

In this article, the author argues that spirituality and religious practice are highly diverse and interconnected topics that must be respected in the workplace. The text also outlines implications related to leadership.

Hodge, D. R. (2003). The challenge of spiritual diversity: Can social work facilitate an inclusive environment? Families in Society, 84, 348–358.

This author argues that the profession of social work is comprised largely of nontheistic practitioners and this impacts the shaping of conceptualization of spiritual diversity as a multicultural concern. This potential misrepresentation of others’ theistic beliefs may limit social workers’ effectiveness in working with religious populations and clients.

Jackson, L. (2010). Images of Islam in US media and their educational implications. Educational Studies: Journal of the American Educational Studies Association, 46(1), 3-24.

This article uses post- 9/11 images of Islam and Muslims in US media to illustrate the challenges faced by educators striving to teach about diverse groups in the presence of competing and inaccurate media messages. 

Johnson, K. A., White, A. E., Boyd, B. M., & Cohen, A. B. (2011). Matzah, meat, milk, and mana: Psychological influences on religio-cultural food practices. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 42(8), 1421-1436. doi:10.1177/0022022111412528

This article explores the likely origin and function of the food-related beliefs and rituals endorsed by diverse religious and cultural groups.   The authors suggest that their process of inquiry may be applicable to explorations of a wide variety of religious/cultural beliefs and practices.

Kim, C. L., Anderson, T. L., Hall, M. E., & Willingham, M. M. (2010). Asian and female in the white gods world: A qualitative exploration of discrimination in Christian academia. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 13(5), 453-465. doi:10.1080/13674670903384533

This qualitative study explores the role of the Christian university environment on discrimination experiences of 11 Asian/Asian-American female faculty at various Christian universities.  Existing research provides the context for discussing these experiences, which are often marked by perceptions of differential treatment due to race and gender. 

Langer, N. (2004). Resiliency and spirituality: Foundations of strengths perspective counseling with the elder. Educational Gerontology, 30, 611–617.

This article uses the constructs of resiliency and spirituality to describe a strengths based approach to caring for and working with older adults.

Levitt, D. H., & Balkin, R. S. (2003). Religious diversity from a Jewish perspective. Counseling and Values, 48, 57–66.

The authors discuss religion as an important component of multicultural competency and focus specifically on the impact for Jewish clients in a counseling setting.

Milstein, G., Manierre, A., & Yali, A. M. (2010). Psychological care for persons of diverse religions: A collaborative continuum. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41(5), 371-381. doi:10.1037/a0021074

Given the APA “Resolution on Religious, Religion-Based and/or Religion-Derived Prejudice” which states that it is not the role of professional psychologists to be spiritual guides,  this article explores the potential collaboration of clergy and mental health care practitioners.  The authors frame this discussion in terms of a continuum between clinical care provided by mental health professionals and religious care provided by clergy.   A prevention science based model of Clergy Outreach and Professional Engagement (COPE) is offered to guide this collaboration.  Ethical considerations and cultural variations of religious beliefs are addressed through this model. 

Northcut, T. B. (2004). Pedagogy in diversity: Teaching religion and spirituality in the clinical social work classroom. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 74, 349–358.

This article provides a framework for teaching religion and spirituality from within the context of clinical social work.

Oshodi, J. E. (1996). The place of spiritualism and ancient Africa in American psychology. Journal of Black Studies, 27, 172–182.

This article examines not only religious diversity with a focus on African spirituality but challenges the notion of scientific humanism as a foundation for explorations of psychology and spirituality.

Roysircar, G. (2003). Religious differences: Psychological and sociopolitical aspects of counseling. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 25, 255–267.

This article focuses on the importance of recognizing and understanding religion as a source of diversity in a clinical context. The author primarily emphasizes the importance of understanding Islam in today's political climate for work with Muslim populations. The author also provides training vignettes.

Russell, S. R., & Yarhouse, M. A. (2006). Training in religion/spirituality within APA-accredited psychology predoctoral internships. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 37, 430–436.

This article provides results of an American Psychological Association survey of accredited predoctoral internship programs. The authors highlight the lack of formal training provided to future clinicians with respect to religion or spirituality as an element of cultural diversity.

Saroglou, V., & Cohen, A. B. (2011). Psychology of culture and religion: Introduction to the JCCP special issue. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 42(8), 1309-1319. doi:10.1177/0022022111412254

This introduction to a special issue of the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology describes current trends in relevant research from cross-cultural psychology, social and cultural psychology, and comparative psychology of religion.  The special issue includes articles addressing  theoretical and  empirical considerations of how cultural-level dimensions (from ecology and biology to ethnicity, family practices, and socio-economic factors) shape religion’s functioning at the individual and collective level. 

Schulte, D. L., Skinner, T. A., & Claiborn, C. D. (2002). Religious and spiritual issues in counseling psychology training. Counseling Psychologist, 30, 118–134.

The authors discuss the results of a survey concerning the inclusion or more often exclusion of religion and spirituality as topics for study within counseling programs and indicates that religion may not always be viewed as a diversity issue.

Yarhouse, M. A., & Fisher, W. (2002). Levels of training to address religion in clinical practice. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 39, 171–176.

The authors argue that most psychology programs do not provide training concerning religion as an issue of diversity and propose a 3-tier training system related to religion and spirituality as an aspect of diversity.

Web Sites

Psych Web Resources

These Psychology of Religion Pages by Michael Nielsen, PhD, include recommended readings, films, journal, organizations, Web sites, as well as sample syllabi and Listserv information.

Division 36: Psychology of Religion

Division statement: “Division 36 of the American Psychological Association, the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, brings together psychologists who recognize the significance of religion both in the lives of people and in the discipline of psychology. The division is nonsectarian. Membership and division activities are open to members of all faiths as well as to those who are not religiously affiliated or do not profess a particular personal faith commitment. “

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