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Spirituality, Religion, and Faith in Psychotherapy

Evidence-Based Expressive Methods for Mind, Brain, and Body

Helen Land

Publication Date - 01 July 2014

ISBN: 9780190616465

470 pages
6 x 9 inches


For decades, psychotherapy has avoided addressing the religious or spiritual experience of clients; but as society grows and changes so do the problems, wants, and needs of individuals seeking help-to continue to overlook the sacred could be to miss out on the greatest source of a client's resiliency or the very root of her problems. There is a measurable value in addressing the psycho-spiritual needs of clients, both as a means of practicing cultural-competence in regards to the continually growing diversity among people seeking help, and for the sacred's connection with many contemporary issues including trauma and bereavement.

Helen Land uses current research in interpersonal neurobiology to show readers how to integrate religious, spiritual, and faith content into psychotherapy through the use of evidence-based expressive practices. Using an approach appropriate for both theistic and atheistic clients, this book will be an invaluable resource for addressing the holistic health of individuals dealing with trauma, bereavement, incarceration, and addiction as well as counseling for returning veterans.


  • a highly-inclusive, client-centered assessment model that considers religion, spirituality, and faith alongside psychological, social, and biological factors and can be used across theoretical orientations
  • in-depth discussion of interpersonal neurobiology based on current research into mind-brain-body connections
  • clear distinctions made between spirituality, religion, and faith and a discussion of how each functions within the life of the client and as an aspect of treatment
  • seven expressive treatment methods presented in detail, including background, underlying theories, spiritual and religious relevance, instructions for implementation, case studies, and research findings of each
  • case studies of clients from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds that include commentary and analysis

About the Author(s)

Helen Land (PhD, University of Pittsburgh; MSW, Syracuse University) is associate professor in the social work department at the University of Southern California. She is the president of the Society for Spirituality and Social Work and president emeritus of the Southern California Society for Spirituality and Social Work.

Table of Contents

    Foreword by Edward Canda
    1. Integrating Spirituality, Religion, and Faith into Psychotherapy
    2. The Sacred Triad: Assessing Spirituality, Religion, and Faith
    3. Art Therapy: Art Production and Art Imagery for Psychospiritual Problems
    4. Music Therapy: Assessment and Treatment for Spirituality, Religion, and Faith
    5. Writing and Poetry in Therapy
    6. Drama and Psychodrama
    7. Dance and Movement Therapy: A Sacred-Sensitive Treatment Approach
    8. Sand-Tray Therapy and Spirituality, Religion, and Faith
    9. Guided Imagery in Religion, Spirituality, and Faith
    10. Integrative Methods and Conclusion
    Appendix: Outline of Assessment Issues