Values and religious issues in psychotherapy and mental health

Am Psychol. 1991 Apr;46(4):394-403. doi: 10.1037//0003-066x.46.4.394.


A decade of work by Bergin and others is reviewed and synthesized concerning two broad issues: (a) the role of values in psychotherapy and (b) the relation of religion to mental health. Trends have changed and there is now more professional support for addressing values issues in treatment. There is also more openness to the healthy potentialities of religious involvement, and therapists themselves manifest a new level of personal interest in such matters. Cautions and guidelines for dealing with such issues are considered in both empirical and clinical terms. The multifactorial nature of religion is documented, and healthy and unhealthy ways of being religious are described. Suggestions are given for including education in values and religious issues in the training of clinicians so that the vast population of religious clientele may be better served.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Humans
  • Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Religion and Psychology*
  • Social Values*