Use of Religious Resources in Psychotherapy from a Tradition-Sensitive Approach

Cases from Chinese in Malaysia

Rachel Sing Kiat Ting, Alvin Lai Oon Ng

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper highlights the integration of spiritual and religious approaches in psychotherapy using the three major religions (Taoism, Buddhism, and Christianity) of the Chinese community in Malaysia (CIM) as an example. The authors explore the underlying therapeutic dimensions that exist among CIM. The distinctive practices of religion among CIM include: 1) the blending of religion, folklore, and superstitious practices; 2) loyalty to the religious tradition of one's family; and 3) common belief in a spiritual reality. Due to the particularity of religiosity within this population, the authors propose a tradition-sensitive approach to integrative therapy and religion. Lastly, four clinical cases are discussed to demonstrate an integrative approach in therapy sessions. The themes that emerge from the cases are viewed as a dynamic process, including 1) exploration of the client's religious beliefs and beliefs concerning the spiritual realm, 2) affirming the client's religious resources and social duties, 3) returning to the client's basic religious teachings and rituals, 4) expanding religious support from the client's family and community, and 5) personal growth and healing in the client's relationships. In the conclusion, both the benefits and potential weaknesses of this approach are discussed in order to address the complexity of such an endeavour in an Asian setting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)941-957
    Number of pages17
    JournalPastoral Psychology
    Volume61
    Issue number5-6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

    Fingerprint

    Malaysia
    Religion
    psychotherapy
    Psychotherapy
    resources
    community
    Buddhism
    Religious Philosophies
    Taoism
    Folklore
    Christianity
    Ceremonial Behavior
    folklore
    loyalty
    religious behavior
    Teaching
    Therapeutics
    Resources
    Growth
    Population

    Keywords

    • Chinese
    • Malaysia
    • Psychotherapy
    • Religion
    • Spirituality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Applied Psychology
    • Religious studies
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Social Psychology

    Cite this

    Use of Religious Resources in Psychotherapy from a Tradition-Sensitive Approach : Cases from Chinese in Malaysia. / Ting, Rachel Sing Kiat; Ng, Alvin Lai Oon.

    In: Pastoral Psychology, Vol. 61, No. 5-6, 12.2012, p. 941-957.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Ting, Rachel Sing Kiat ; Ng, Alvin Lai Oon. / Use of Religious Resources in Psychotherapy from a Tradition-Sensitive Approach : Cases from Chinese in Malaysia. In: Pastoral Psychology. 2012 ; Vol. 61, No. 5-6. pp. 941-957.
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