Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Journal File

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Theology

Journal File

Article excerpt

This section of the Journal attempts to keep readers informed of current resources of an integrative nature or those related to the general field of the psychology of religion appearing in other professional journals. A wide range of psychological and theological journals are surveyed regularly in search of such resources. The editor of the Journal File welcomes correspondence from readers concerning relevant theoretical or research articles in domestic or foreign journals which contribute directly or indirectly to the task and process of integration and to an understanding of the psychology of religion.


Tan, S. (2007).

Using Spiritual Disciplines in Clinical Supervision

Vol. 26, 328-335

In recent years, literature on spirituality and reLigion in psychotherapy has seen substantial growth; yet little research exists on spirituality and religion in clinical supervision. Christian spirituality, in particular, has garnered little attention in the research arena, despite the fact that it is frequently addressed as a clinical issue in supervision. Given that emphasis on the need to give focused attention to spirituality and religion as a "crucial part of building diversity competence in supervision" (p. 328), Tan (2007) reviews models for addressing spirituality and religion in clinical supervision, as well as specifically addressing the use of spiritual disciplines to enhance the clinical supervision experience.

Regardless of a clinician's personal religious or spiritual orientation, in lieu of the varying importance of religion and spirituality to a client, the author asserts that clinicians have an ethical duty to grow in their competency to help clients process and navigate religious or spiritual issues. Tan reviews the Integration Developmental Model (IDM) of clinical supervision that provides a blueprint for how this can be accomplished. The IDM is composed of eight domains that delineate "specific supervisor actions that can help supervisees or therapists to work more effectively with religious clients and religious or spiritual issues" (p. 328). These eight domains, which include intervention skills, assessment approaches and techniques, individual and cultural differences, interpersonal assessment, theoretical orientation, problem conceptualization, selecting treatment goals and plans, and professional ethics, address how religious or spiritual issues can be integrated in these respective aspects of psychotherapy and how the supervisor can help facilitate the process in supervision,

Associated with the IDM, Tan devotes specific attention to the first domain of intervention skills, and specifically the practice of spiritual disciplines in clinical supervision as a means of helping the supervisee to develop intervention skills that address religious or spiritual issues presented by clients. Tan briefly reviews nearly forty spiritual disciplines and how they can be grouped under three major categories of cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal spiritual disciplines. The importance of using spiritual disciplines appropriately and ethically is also given attention.

Finally, Tan addresses and unpacks the use of implicit and explicit integration in psychotherapy and clinical supervision. Implicit integration in psychotherapy and clinical supervision is described as a "covert approach to the [integration developmental] model" where discussion of religious or spiritual issues is not initiated and spiritual interventions are not directly used (p. 330). Explicit integration, conversely, addresses spiritual or religious issues in therapy or supervision in a "direct and open way" (p. 330). Related to clinical supervision, if a supervisee is not a Christian or is "not a Christian who is interested in using spiritual disciplines such as prayer or Scripture discussion in supervision" (p. 330), Tan states that the Christian supervisor should avoid imposing explicit interventions in supervision, but can still facilitate this growth through implicit integration. …

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