Date of Award

Summer 8-10-2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Catherine Chang Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Don Davis, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Melissa Zeligman, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Franco Dispenza, Ph.D.


Despite efforts made by the counseling profession to integrate spirituality/religion (S/R) into therapy and training, S/R is often neglected in counselor education programs (Bishop, et. al. 2003; Crabtree et al., 2020; Polanski, 2003). Accordingly, counselors in training (CIT) often lack the necessary training and spiritual competence to effectively integrate S/R in counseling practice. Previous researchers have found that discussing S/R in supervision increases the likelihood that CIT will integrate S/R with counseling clients (Garner, et. al., 2017; Gilliam & Armstrong, 2012), however supervisors often avoid integrating S/R in supervision due to their personal assumptions, attitudes, and beliefs about the role of S/R in counseling (Olson, 2007). Supervisor assumptions, attitudes and beliefs regarding the role of S/R in counseling are often transferred to CIT, resulting in the exclusion of S/R from counseling and supervision (Adam, 2012; Giordano & Cashwell, 2014; Zetzer et al., 2020) Conversely, culturally humble supervisors are expected to engage various aspects of cultural identity, such as S/R, with openness and curiosity rather than ignoring or avoiding it based on their own personal beliefs or lack of knowledge (Watkins et al., 2019). Similarly, CIT who perceive their supervisor as more culturally humble may be more likely to discuss S/R matters in supervision Hird et al., 2001). This study investigated the associations between CIT spiritual competence, discussion of spirituality in supervision, perceived supervisor cultural humility and CIT integration of S/R in counseling. The role of CIT spiritual competence, discussion of spirituality in supervision, and perceived supervisor cultural humility in predicting trainee integration of S/R in counseling was also examined. A sample of 88 CIT was recruited, and correlation and hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted. Only two of three independent variables were related to CIT integration of S/R into counseling; however, all three independent variables predicted CIT integration of S/R in counseling in the final model. These findings provide implications for counseling training programs, supervisors, and future research regarding the integration of S/R in supervision and counseling.


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