Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Davis, Thomas


The discussion of spirituality and religion (S/R) in social work is a prevalent topic within the field. Literature suggests that social workers do not feel competent or comfortable discussing or utilizing S/R in practice. This study focused on identifying factors that may be causing resistance in social workers from the Inland Empire of Southern California towards addressing S/R with their clients. The researchers interviewed eight social workers from diverse areas of practice via telephone and in-person. Data was collected via audio-recording and later transcribed for thematic analysis. Participants were asked an array of questions including their own experience with their spirituality and current comfort level with asking their clients about S/R. Through the findings, it appears that social workers’ comfort level stems from various aspects including a sense of unease regarding their knowledge on various belief systems. The results indicated that once clients are asked about their spiritual and/or religious beliefs, clients are able to engage in a discussion about their definition of their own beliefs and determine the direction of the topic.