Christian counseling psychologists’ practice experiences in integrating spirituality into counseling

Ping Hwa Chen*, Shing Ru Chan, Lan Hsin Fan, Michael J. Mullahy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Counseling psychologists have traditionally avoided touching on spiritual issues in their counseling work. Counselors fear losing their neutrality and imposing theirreligious valueson clients if they bring spiritual issues into counseling. However, the increasing emphasis on spirituality in psychology and counseling is opening new perspectives for practicingcounselors. The present study explored Taiwanese Christian counseling psychologists’ experiences ofintegrating spirituality into their counseling practice. Five Christian counseling psychologists participated in semi-structured interviews.Data from the interviews was analyzed using the thematic analysis method. Eight themes were identified:identifying as both Christians and counselors, possessing Christian-based spiritual perspectives, being influenced by spirituality in counseling work, providing spiritual assessment and intervention in counseling, affirming the benefit of integrating spirituality into counseling, valuing the meaningfulness of conducting spiritual work in counseling, loosening restrictionson discussing spirituality in counseling, and walking the path of integrating spirituality and counseling. The results were discussed, and recommendations for further research were proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-587
Number of pages23
JournalBulletin of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Christian counseling psychologist
  • Integrating spirituality into counseling
  • Practice experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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