a podcast at the intersection of Christianity & mental health.


58 - Religious Coping Skills: Good, Bad, or Both? (feat. Dr. Kenneth Pargament)

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How do our religious & spiritual beliefs factor into how we cope with hard times in our lives? Dr. Kenneth Pargament (author of The Psychology of Religion and Coping) comes by the show to talk to us about his work in exactly that area. We talk about integrating spirituality into therapy, various styles of coping using religious beliefs (self-directed, deferred, and collaborative), what some positive and negative coping skills could be, and more. In the intro, Robert & Holly talk about whether they like the holiday season, unique traditions, and hitting 50k downloads.

Things we mention in this episode/other resources:
- Holly’s research is talked about in episode 31 - Does It Matter If Your Therapist Is Christian?
- Dr. Michelle Pearce (who created the SCT-MH training with Dr. Pargament) is the guest on episode 55 - CBT for Christians.
- the Spiritual Competency in Mental Health training program developed by Ken & Michelle
- Dr. Pargament’s books: Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy: Understanding and Addressing the Sacred and The Psychology of Religion and Coping: Theory, Research, Practice.
- the APA Handbook of Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality
- In the intro, we mentioned becoming a Patreon supporter. Do that here, or see a longer list of ways to support CXMH here.

Connect with Dr. Pargament by emailing him at or buy his books on Amazon. See a more extensive biography and list of his academic articles on his Bowling Green webpage.

- “For many people, spirituality and religion are powerful resources that can be real adjuncts to the work that we do in mental health.” (tweet)
- “Holy holy holy, the whole earth is holy.” (tweet)
- “Pain and suffering don’t have the last word from a religious point of view.” (tweet)
- “Without struggles in life, we wouldn’t be able to move forward.” (tweet)
- “Religion and spirituality compliment psychology by focusing on ‘how do you come to terms with human limitations?’” (tweet)
- “If we don’t pay attention to the spiritual dimension of who we are, then our work will be incomplete.” (tweet)

Connect with Robert on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Connect with Holly on her website or Twitter.

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Intro/Outro music for this episode is ‘Fall Down’ by Rivers & Robots.