Relational Spirituality as Scaffolding for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

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There is evidence that incorporating spirituality and religion into therapy can result in positive outcomes for some clients; however, there is a need for more clinical literature that provides specific strategies for incorporating these beliefs based on different theoretical approaches. The current case study attempts to illustrate the specific changes made in a course of cognitive-behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder and somatic symptom disorder that successfully integrated the client’s religious beliefs and resulted in a positive outcome. The relational model of spirituality is used to illustrate the process through which religious beliefs were used as scaffolding to change maladaptive beliefs related to contamination and emotions. It is hoped that the strategies used in this case will help enable other clinicians to more easily incorporate spirituality and religion into therapy, and the barriers for such incorporation are also discussed.

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