spirituality, religious interventions, psychotherapy, highly religious clients


Spiritual and religious interventions in psychotherapy have increasingly received research attention, particularly with highly religious clients. This study examined client opinions about and experiences with religious interventions in psychotherapy. A sample of 152 clients at a counseling center of a university sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) completed a survey with ratings of specific religious interventions with regards to appropriateness, helpfulness, and prevalence. Out-of-session religious interventions were considered more appropriate by clients than in-session religious interventions, but in-session interventions were rated as more helpful. Specific interventions considered both appropriate and helpful by the LDS participants included referencing scriptural passages, teaching spiritual concepts, encouraging forgiveness, involving religious community resources, and conducting assessments of client spirituality. Some religious interventions were perceived as inappropriate or not helpful, and clients provided explanations for why religious interventions can be either effective or ineffective in psychotherapy.

Original Publication Citation

Martinez, J. S., Smith, T. B., & Barlow, S. H. (2007). Spiritual interventions in psychotherapy: Evaluations by highly religious clients. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 63, 943-960.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


John Wiley & Sons




David O. McKay School of Education


Counseling Psychology and Special Education