Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet


Across the United States, an overwhelming majority of the population claim that religion and spirituality beliefs shape their worldview and assist in coping with life stressors. Yet, the literature has shown that mental health practitioners reported discomfort integrating religion and spiritually in clinical practice. The purpose of this study was to explore whether license-holding mental health professionals in Southern California develop reluctance toward addressing religion/spirituality with their clients. Through snowball sampling, 52 clinicians composed of social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists, nurses, psychologists, and psychiatrists were recruited across Southern California (N =52). The participants were measured descriptively based on (a) confidence in their ability to integrate client beliefs into treatment and (b) their comfort discussing topics related to RS with their clients. Results revealed an overall level of reluctance ranging from 15 percent (for comfortability) to 25 percent (for ability) among the study participants. Licensed clinical social workers reported slightly lower reluctance level than other licensed professionals. Implications of the findings were discussed.