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September 15, 2015Proffessor BrykESSAY 2byTrisha JohnsonReligion and spiritualty are very important parts of life for many people.  However, when people seek mental health care in the therapy room, there is often confusion about whether their faith should be part of the discussion.  It is important to know whether enlisting the help of religion can promote good mental health outcomes.  It is also important to know what Christian therapists need in order to be effective sources of healing for people dealing with extreme trauma.  In order to answer these questions, this paper will review two different articles pertaining to the field of psychotherapy and religion.LITERATURE REVIEWIn the first article, the authors conducted a mixed-methods study in order to investigate the factors contributing to positive versus negative outcomes when Christian clients receive secular psychotherapy.  Results showed that many clients were not eager to share their faith with their therapists because they were worried about how their therapists would react.  Outcomes were positive when the therapist showed openness to understanding their clients’ beliefs and gave their clients control over how much of their faith they wanted to share.  Outcomes were negative when the therapist expressed different religious views or refused to discuss spiritual issues.  However, it was still possible for the client to have a favorable impression of the therapist even when their goals conflicted.In the second article, the authors discuss the emphasis of church and clergy involvement when it comes to child abuse, domestic violence and survivors of wars and disasters.  While noting significant progress, the article questions whether the church is ready to respond to the issues of child abuse, domestic violence and survivors of wars and disasters. The Christian Association of Psychological Studies (CAPS) is looking for the church to develop effective treatment of child abuse for the Christian community to consider.  It was suggested that training for clergy in responding to survivors of an abuse is needed.  Also, more work is needed in clinical trials, qualitative, mixed methods, comparative, epidemiological, moderating and mediating modeling and longitudinal studies to bridge the research gap.CONCLUSIONThese articles show that people commonly look to religion as a source of healing.  Both religious and non-religious therapists should be ready and willing to discuss matters of spirituality with their clients without imposing their own beliefs.  Also, since Christian mental health professionals are often looked to as a source of healing in the event of serious trauma, it is important that these professionals receive proper training.  Finally, more research is needed in the ways that religion and spiritualty can promote healing in the therapy room.SOURCES:Article 1: “Experiences of Christian Clients in Secular Psychotherapy: A Mixed-Methods Investigation.”Article 2: “Future Directions for the Study and Application of Religion, Spirituality, and Trauma Research.”