008: Research on Christian Therapies: What is the Evidence-base Supporting Christian Counseling?
Harold Koenig, M.D.
Duke University Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health
Box 3400 Duke University Medical Center
Durham, NC 27710
This workshop will review material contained in Duke University’s annual five-day research workshop on spirituality and health, now in its 18th year. The focus during this workshop will be on: 1) briefly reviewing the research on religion and mental health in Christians, 2) discussing why evidence-based treatments in Christian counseling are important, 3) illustrating evidence-based Christian therapies now being used, and, in particular, 4) describing how to a) design, b) fund, and c) manage randomized clinical trials (RCTs) to test the efficacy of a Christian therapy. Challenges involved in the design, funding, and management of clinical trials will be discussed based on a recent RCT that examined Religiously-integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (RCBT) that involved Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist forms of CBT. Also described will be an RCT currently taking place to examine Spiritually-oriented Cognitive Processing Therapy to treat “moral injury” in those with post-traumatic stress disorder. There will be ample time for participants to ask questions and discuss issues surrounding evidence-based treatments in Christian counseling, why they are needed, and issues related to conducting RCTs and evaluating the results of RCTs performed by others.
• Analyze why evidenced-based treatments in Christian counseling are so important for psychologists and licensed mental health professionals
• Identify the limitations of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and challenges involved in conducting them
• Design, fund, and manage an RCT to test a Christian approach to therapy in licensed mental health or psychology practices