A collaborative relationship between professional psychology and the Roman Catholic Church: A case example and suggested principles for success

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American Psychological Association


For many years the professional psychology and religious communities have maintained a strained relationship. At best, a passive indifference has been the norm. Fortunately, in some circles, the psychological and religious communities have recently begun to develop more collaborative relationships. For some psychologists, religion and spirituality is now in vogue. The purpose of this article is to detail one professional's experience in developing a close working relationship with both clergy and parishioners of the Roman Catholic Church and highlight useful principles for others interested in collaboration between psychology and religious communities. Hopefully, those who are interested in pursuing closer collaborative relationships with religious communities can benefit from the experiences and principles outlined here.