Volume 4 - 2001

Preference for Incorporating Young Adults’ Religious Beliefs into Counseling Sessions

Tina-Marie Clark

Young adults may be particularly vulnerable to stressful experiences that might negatively impact their mental health and tap their limited coping abilities. Campus clinics provide one avenue for receiving help in times of need. However, so might prayer and religious counseling. The current study was designed to begin examining whether young adults perceive the inclusion of religious beliefs in counseling sessions as beneficial. Participants (n = 125) completed surveys on religious beliefs and practices. They also evaluated one of two scenarios depicting religious or traditional counseling sessions. Although no significant difference existed between participants who identified themselves as religious or non-religious in their assessment of the appropriateness of counseling or the need for counseling, results showed a positive association between stress susceptibility and lack of religiousness. The benefits of including religious beliefs in counseling sessions are discussed.

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