Loyola University Maryland

Emerging Scholars

Charles Hinz, Ralph L. Piedmont, Ph.D.

The Comprehensive Psycho-Spiritual Clinical Interview (CPSCI)

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There is a vast amount of research suggesting that spirituality and religion, as psychological variables, have much to offer clinicians about a client and their motivations in life. While deemed important, there is no systematic means to assess for spirituality and existential motivators for clinicians when meeting with clients for an intake interview. The purpose of this study was to create a comprehensive assessment instrument that clinicians could use in an initial intake to collect all psychologically relevant information.

The first part of the research process involved graduate students in the Numinous Assessment Group (NAG) collaborating to format and provide content for the assessment based on 3 axes. Axis 1 (the Problem) was designed to identify what symptoms or problem areas of clinical relevance brought a client into treatment. Axis 2 (the Person) included clinically relevant information about a client’s personality along with overall levels of cognitive and emotional functioning. Axis 3 (the Predicament) was structured from a new model of numinous motivation that includes 3 dimensions: infinitude, meaning-making, and worthiness along with information about religious and spiritual functioning. The second part of the development process was to create the pastoral themes sub-section of Axis 3, which will link specific pastoral themes to the 3 dimensions of numinous motivations found in the new model. NAG researchers generated a list of relevant themes that were then placed in a survey. The purpose of this survey was to determine themes specifically related to each of the numinous motivations (Infinitude, Meaning, and Worthiness). Ten clinicians were recruited to participate in the study. After reviewing the surveys, themes clearly identified with a single numinous motivation were included in the final version of the instrument. Final reviews and modifications were made by NAG researchers to ensure the appropriateness and comprehensiveness of the instrument.

A final copy of the Comprehensive Psycho-Spiritual Clinical Interview (CPSCI) will be included in the presentation. Moving forward, the next step of this research project will be to test the instrument. Copies of the CPSCI will be provided to clinicians currently practicing in the mental health field. Clinicians will be asked to utilize the CPSCI with their own clients and provide feedback about the comprehensiveness and the utility of the instrument as a means to collect all relevant psychological data about a client.