Religious and spiritual issues in clinical and counselling psychology masters training programmes in South African universities : an exploratory study.
Religion and spirituality are universal concepts which provide significant platforms of meaning for many people (Pargament, 1999). However, traditional psychology training programs have typically omitted these issues (Brawer, Handal, Fabricatore, Roberts and Wadja-Johnston, 2002; Shafranske, 2001), thus neglecting an important dimension of human experience. The present study involved sending a survey questionnaire to all lecturers, coordinators and directors involved in psychology masters programmes within South Africa. This study explores the extent to which religious and spiritual issues are currently included in masters programmes, the perceptions of those involved regarding religious and spiritual issues, and possible ways of integrating these issues within the existing program. Within an integrative framework, results are analysed descriptively, using content analysis for the qualitative responses. Current inclusion of religious and spiritual issues within psychology training programs is varied between modules and universities, and the perceptions of those involved regarding inclusion is ambivalently in favour. Integrating religious and spiritual issues into existing modules is generally favoured.