Religion and Spirituality in Intercultural Therapy

  • Limore Racin
  • Simon Dein


This chapter examines the role of religion and spirituality (R/S) in intercultural therapy. We define intercultural therapy as a form of psychotherapy conducted among culturally diverse groups and as such acknowledges the importance of race, culture, beliefs, values, attitudes, religion and language in clients’ lives (Kareem, Intercultural therapy: themes, interpretations and practice. Blackwell, London, 1999). Working across cultures psychotherapeutically often involves discussion of R/S especially among many migrant groups. Literature suggests that psychotherapists are adverse to discussing religious topics (Delaney et al., Prof Psychol Res Pract 38:538–546, 2007). Here we argue that such discussions are essential. After consideration of religion in mental health, more specifically the work of Freud, Jung and religious CBT, we move on to address the inclusion of R/S themes in intercultural therapy. Here religion is defined as a cultural system of beliefs, practices, rituals and symbols designed to help the individual with sacred and/or transcendent aspects; spirituality is a personal quest for answers in relation to the meaning of life and relationships with sacred and/or transcendent aspects (Koenig, Handbook of religion and health: a century of research reviewed. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2001).


Religion Spirituality Intercultural therapy Psychotherapy Psychoanalysis CBT Spiritual-based therapies 


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Suggested Readings

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    Koenig H. Handbook of religion and health: a century of research reviewed. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Limore Racin
    • 1
  • Simon Dein
    • 1
  1. 1.Goldsmiths College, University of LondonLondonUK

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