Evidencebased
Evidence-Based Practices for Christian Counseling and Psychotherapy
Author: Everett L. Worthington Jr., Eric L. Johnson, Joshua N. Hook and Jamie D. Aten

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Are Christian treatments as effective as secular treatments? What is the evidence to support its success?

Christians engaged in the fields of psychology, psychotherapy and counseling are living in a unique moment. Over the last couple decades, these fields have grown more and more open to religious belief and religion-accommodative therapies. At the same time, Christian counselors and psychotherapists encounter pressure (for example, from insurance companies) to demonstrate that their accommodative therapies are as beneficial as secular therapies. This raises the need for evidence to support Christian practices and treatments.

The essays gathered in this volume explore evidence-based Christian treatments, practices, factors and principles. The authors mine the relevant research and literature to update practicing psychotherapists, clinical researchers, students, teachers and educated laypersons about the efficacy of certain Christian-accommodative therapies. Topics covered in the book include:

  • devotional meditation
  • cognitive-behavior therapy
  • psychodynamic and process-experiential therapies
  • couples, marriage and family therapy
  • group intervention

The book concludes with a review of the evidence for the various treatments discussed in the chapters, a guide for conducting clinical trials that is essential reading for current or aspiring researchers, and reflections by the editors about the future of evidence-based Christian practices. As the editors say, "more research is necessary." To that end, this volume is a major contribution to a field of inquiry that, while still in its infancy, promises to have enormous implications for future work in Christian counseling and psychotherapy.

About the Editors

Everett L. Worthington Jr. (Ph.D., University of Missouri) is professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and former executive director of the Templeton Foundation's A Campaign for Forgiveness Research.

Everett L. Worthington Jr. (Ph.D., University of Missouri) is professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a licensed clinical psychologist and former executive director of the Templeton Foundation's A Campaign for Forgiveness Research.

Joshua N. Hook (Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University) is assistant professor of psychology at the University of North Texas. He is a licensed clinical psychologist, and has written several journal articles and book chapters, mainly on the topics of humility, forgiveness, spirituality and religion.

Jamie D. Aten (PhD, Indiana State University) is the founder and codirector of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute, and Dr. Arthur P. Rech and Mrs. Jean May Rech Associate Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois). Previously he served as the assistant director of the Katrina Research Center and as assistant professor of psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Endorsements

The publication of this excellent volume marks a developmental step in the maturation of Christian engagement with and reflection on quality provision of counseling and psychotherapy services. The editors and authors represent knowledge of best practices in alleviating human distress in a number of key areas, particularly related to preventing and assisting troubled marriages, and we can hope that the movement they seek to inspire will flourish.
Stanton L. Jones, provost and professor of psychology, Wheaton College, and coauthor of Modern Psychotherapies: A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal (2nd Ed.)
I love this book for all sorts of reasons. It is edited by some of the most gifted and insightful people I know. The chapters illustrate a variety of treatment approaches as well as diverse ways of gathering evidence to support those treatments. I also appreciate how thoroughly this book reflects wise collaboration between researchers and clinicians, and among early-, mid-, and late-career psychologists. This volume is timely and essential, reflecting both Christian wisdom and prevailing professional standards.
Mark R. McMinn, professor of psychology, George Fox University
The concept of evidence-based practice is continually evolving and needs to be applied more systematically to a Christian context. In this volume, top researcher-clinicians come together to provide the state of the art of evidence-based practices for Christian counseling and psychotherapy. It is both broad and deep, and represents a significant advancement in the field of Christian counseling. I highly recommend it for lay counselors, graduate students and seasoned clinicians alike.
Todd W. Hall, Biola University