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Kathy Richardson, Ralph L. Piedmont, Ph.D., Teresa A. Wilkins, Ph.D.

Play Therapists Addressing Religion and Spirituality: A Study of Understanding and Competence

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The field of Play Therapy has no literature on spirituality in the play room, and is therefore lagging progress in counseling and psychotherapy regarding understanding the significance of religious beliefs and spirituality in clients’ lives, relationships, and development (Homeyer, 2016).  Two hundred and seventeen members of the Association of Play Therapy (APT) living in the United States participated in a study assessing their understanding of the impact of their own religious and spiritual beliefs, as well as their professional backgrounds and type of licensure on their spiritual competence.  This study used Robertson’s Spiritual Competency Scale – II Revised (SCS-II R, 2009), which was developed to assess ASERVIC’s six spiritual competencies, as the outcome, with Piedmont’s Assessment of Spirituality and Religious Sentiments (ASPIRES, 2010), and a demographic form where practitioners could self-identify their beliefs, to determine predictors for spiritual competence.  In addition, control variables included personality and multicultural self-efficacy in two separate incremental validity studies. Personality was measured via the 50-item International Item Personality Pool (IPIP) representation of the Goldberg (1992) markers for the Big-Five factor structure. Multicultural self-efficacy was measured with Sheu’s Multicultural Counseling Self-Efficacy Scale – Racial Diversity Form (MCSE-RD, 2007).  Finally, data were analyzed to determine if there were either main effects or interaction effects between spiritual transcendence and multicultural self-efficacy upon spiritual competence.

Keywords: play therapy, spirituality, religion, spiritual competence, multicultural self-efficacy

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