Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Sciences

Spirituality, theology and therapy

Religion, spirituality, counselling and psychotherapy are all concerned with meaning-making, which has led some to declare counselling and psychotherapy to be a replacement for religion and spirituality.

However, our research demonstrates the relationship between these spheres is much more complicated. Our work in this area explores the roles played by religious organisations and discourses in the historical development of counselling and psychotherapy, particularly in Scotland.

We also examine the importance of religion and spirituality in the narrative identities of individuals key to this history as well as for contemporary practitioners in Scotland and elsewhere. Another theme explored in our work concerns the ways in which religious and spiritual practices and texts from a variety of traditions can inform and enrich counselling practice.


A list of current and archived research projects undertaken by staff under this theme.


Academic staff who work and study within this research theme.