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Psychother Res. 2011 Mar;21(2):179-92. doi: 10.1080/10503307.2010.536595.

Spirituality and religiosity in psychotherapy--a representative survey among German psychotherapists.

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Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health, Cultural Studies and Social Research, Freiburg, Germany.


We report a survey in a near-representative sample of 895 German psychotherapists. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents referred to themselves as either spiritual or religious. Psychotherapists estimated that on average 22% of their patients bring in topics around spirituality and religion during the course of therapy. Two-thirds thought that topics around spirituality and religion should be part of the postgraduate and/or graduate curriculum. There was a clear difference between therapeutic orientations regarding how they felt about such issues, with CBT and psychodynamically oriented therapists placing less emphasis on spiritual issues and integrative and humanistic therapists more. However, differences between schools were less important than commonalities. We conclude that spirituality and religiosity are important topics for training and further research.

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