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Book Chapter

Publication Date



Oxford University Press


Spirituality and religion are typically a critically important element of most people’s lives. They offer an overarching framework for making sense of the world and a strategy to cope with life’s stressors. They provide a community and a way to wrestle with life’s biggest questions regarding meaning, purpose, and suffering. Mental health professionals are mandated to behave in an ethical manner defined by their codes of ethics. These codes typically understand religion and spirituality a multiculturalism issue. Professionals need to be respectful and responsible and pay close attention to potential implicit bias, boundary crossings, and destructive beliefs and practices. Working with religious professional as helpful collaborative partners also achieves ethically minded best practices. Numerous resources are now available to help professionals develop and maintain their skills in ethically minded clinical practice with spiritual and religious clients. This chapter highlights these issues and offers suggested guidelines toward high quality professional practice.

Chapter of

The Oxford Handbook of Psychotherapy Ethics


Manuel Trachsel
Şerife Tekin
Nikola Biller-Andorno
Jens Gaab
John Z. Sadler


Copyright © 2019 Oxford University Press. Reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press.

This material was originally published in The Oxford Handbook of Psychotherapy Ethics by Manuel Trachsel, Şerife Tekin, Nikola Biller-Andorno, Jens Gaab, and John Z. Sadler, and has been reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press. For permission to reuse this material, please visit



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