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American Psychological Association


Stress in America and across the globe is high with so many ongoing societal problems. The COVID-19 global pandemic along with accelerating climate change, increasing economic instability and inequality, divisive politics and an increase in authoritarianism, racism, and discrimination against those who are oppressed and marginalized are just a few current examples. Evidence suggests that mental health problems and demand for services have exploded as well. Psychotherapists who are well versed in spiritual and religious integration in their clinical work can help. While therapists cannot solve the country’s and world’s numerous problems, they can help their clientele better cope and manage the distress that they experience though highlighting several spiritual and religiously based tools that are commonly available and supported among diverse spiritual and religious traditions. The purpose of this clinical reflection is to encourage clinicians to use five especially relevant spiritual and religious tools with their clientele that include (a) underscoring the sacredness of all; (b) learning to accept others, even with faults; (c) focusing on spiritual modeling; (d) encouraging virtues of forgiveness, kindness, gratitude, and compassion; and (e) incorporating ethics into daily decision-making. A brief explanation of each tool along with clinical case examples are presented here.


© American Psychological Association, 2022. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at:



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