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Empirical Dimensions of Addressing Religion and Spirituality in the Practice of Psychotherapy

Project Staff: George Stavros, Ph.D., and Cristian Onofrei, MS

Description of the Research Study

This research study is designed to investigate the question: what does it mean to practice psychotherapy that addresses, takes into account, or is sensitive to, religious and spiritual issues and sensibilities? Currently we are pursuing the first phase of a larger project that seeks to understand the unique factors, dimensions, and characteristics of psychotherapies and psychotherapists in which spiritual and religious issues are intentionally considered and referred for the purposes of this research study as “Religion, Spirituality, and Psychotherapy” (RSP). More specifically, what are particular dimensions or factors of RSP practice?

Who can participate in the study?

Individuals who practice psychotherapy may participate. Participants can be professionals from a variety of mental health and religious professions: licensed clinical or counseling psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, certified pastoral counselors, psychiatrists, licensed practical nurses in psychiatry, etc.

Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to generate a pool of items that can subsequently be used to develop and validate qualitative and quantitative instruments, which can in turn be used in psychotherapy outcomes research, by surveying a diverse range of RSP practitioners.

Are my responses to the survey kept confidential?

Anonymity of web survey respondents is guaranteed because no personally identifying information will be gathered on this web survey. No names will be collected during the Informed Consent process, and clicking the button “I agree to participate” will indicate that you are giving consent. A number of steps will be taken to insure the security of all data collected. The website uses secure server technology. At the end of the survey you may opt to participate in the second phase of this project. You may do so by providing your email address. Please note that your email address will not be linked in any way to your responses to this survey. We will not use your email address for any other purposes than to contact you when we begin the second phase of the project.

How to participate in the study

Your participation in this study is completely anonymous. All responses will be kept confidential. Only summary information will be shared with others. You may also stop completing the survey at any time. We expect that it will take about 15 minutes to complete this survey.


The results of this survey will aid in the development of instruments and a deeper and more systematic understanding of the RSP field. This may in turn generate more empirical research designed to understand the specific contributions of treatments provided by RSP providers like you.


We do not anticipate any risks as a result of taking this survey. However, you may discontinue taking the survey at any point. Whether you complete the study or not, you are invited to call the principal investigator if you feel uncomfortable or have questions about any part of the survey.

Questions about the study

If you have any questions about this study, please contact the principal investigator, George Stavros, Ph.D., directly by email (stavros1@bu.edu) or by calling (617) 353-6522. For questions regarding your rights as a research subject, you may contact the Boston University Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Research at (617) 358-6115.

Any future questions you may have will be answered by a member of the Research Team. You can print a copy of this form for your records. You are free to withdraw this consent and discontinue participation in this research study at any time without prejudice.

By selecting the “I agree to participate” option below you are indicating that you voluntarily consent to participation in the described research study.