Integrating Religion and Spirituality into Psychiatric Outpatient Treatment in the United States

Matthew S. Stanford, Madeline R. Stiers, Keaton Soileau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


It is common for mental health clients to desire that religion and spirituality (RS) be integrated into their treatment. Despite this preference, clients’ RS beliefs often go overlooked in therapy for a variety of reasons including lack of provider training on integration, fear of causing offense, or concerns about wrongly influencing clients. The present study assessed the effectiveness of using a psychospiritual therapeutic curriculum to integrate RS into psychiatric outpatient treatment for highly religious clients (n = 150) seeking services through a faith-based clinic. The curriculum was well accepted by both clinicians and clients, and a comparison of clinical assessments administered at intake and program exit (clients averaged 6.5 months in the program) showed significant improvement across a broad range of psychiatric symptoms. These results suggest the use of a religiously integrated curriculum within a broader psychiatric treatment program is beneficial and may be a way to overcome clinicians’ RS concerns and shortcomings while meeting religious clients’ desires for inclusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2258-2271
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Religion and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Christianity
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Religious/spiritual integration
  • Serious mental illness
  • Spirituality
  • Outpatients
  • Spiritual Therapies
  • United States
  • Humans
  • Religion
  • Psychotherapy/methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Nursing(all)


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