PsychedCatholic » Where Catholics and psychology come together

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For Students

Did you know that American Psychological Association Division 36 (Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) actually grew out of the American Catholic Psychological Association?  That association was founded in 1946, and had the mission “(1) to bring psychology to Catholics and (2) to bring a Catholic viewpoint to psychology.”  Those factoids, as well as a lot more about the transition from a Catholic association to a more diverse membership, can be found in the linked chapter below:

Reuder, M. E. (1999). A history of Division 36 (Psychology of Religion). In D.  A. Dewsbury (Ed.), Unification through division: Histories of the divisions of the American Psychological Association (Vol. 4, pp. 91-108). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

If you want to find academic sources that examine religious/spiritual topics, address integration of psychology and religion, or report impacts of religiousness on physical and mental health outcomes, the following journals would be a good start.

  • Psychology of Religion and Spirituality – The journal of APA Division 36 – Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.  Published  by APA, this journal “publishes peer-reviewed, original articles related to the psychological aspects of religion and spirituality.”
  • Spirituality in Clinical Practice – “is a practice-oriented journal that encompasses spiritually-oriented psychotherapy and spirituality-sensitive cultural approaches to treatment and wellness. SCP is dedicated to integrating psychospiritual and other spiritually-oriented interventions involved in psychotherapy, consultation, coaching, health, and wellness.”
  • The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion – “is devoted to psychological studies of religious processes and phenomena in all religious traditions…  It presents articles covering a variety of important topics, such as the social psychology of religion, religious development, conversion, religious experience, religion and social attitudes and behavior, religion and mental health, and psychoanalytic and other theoretical interpretations of religion.”
  • Mental Health, Religion and Culture – This journal publishes “empirically-based work which explores the relationships between mental health and aspects of religion and culture, and discusses conceptual and philosophical aspects.”
  • Journal of Disability & Religion – “provides an interfaith, interdisciplinary forum for people interested in the intersections of religion, disability, human services, and academic research …  It combines academic papers and reflective articles representing religious, spiritual, social, cultural, and scientific points of view. They include research, pastoral reflections, theology, religious studies as well as stories about personal journeys.”
  • Journal of Psychology and Christianity – The official journal of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies, it is designed to “provide scholarly interchange among Christian professionals in the psychological and pastoral professions.”
  • Journal of Psychology and Theology – Its purpose is “to communicate recent scholarly thinking on the interrelationships of psychological and theological concepts, and to consider the application of these concepts to a variety of professional settings.”
  • Pastoral Psychology – “Since 1950, the journal offers an international interdisciplinary forum for the publication of original papers that discuss the work of caring for, understanding, and exploring human beings as persons, in families, in small groups, and in community. This peer-reviewed journal brings the best of psychological, behavioral, social, and human sciences research into critical engagement with pastoral concerns.”
  • Social Work and Christianity –  This journal publishes “articles, shorter contributions, book reviews, and letters which deal with issues related to the integration of faith and professional social work practice and other professional concerns which have relevance to Christianity.”

Of course if you have access to the PsycINFO database through school, searching for more specific terms will pull up results from all these journals and more.


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