The Faithful and the Distressed: How Likely are Christians to Seek Psychotherapy Treatment for Psychological Distress?




Choi, Fai Ho

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Differences in causation (biological, psychosocial, spiritual) of five psychological disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, ADHD) and types of counseling/therapy (pastoral care, Christian therapy, secular therapy) were examined between four groups: 1) Hong Kong Chinese and Americans, 2) Christians and non-Christians, 3) Hong Kong Christians and Hong Kong non-Christians and 4) Hong Kong Christians and American Christians. A brief online survey was used to collect the data. Results were mixed as to how people of different groups attributed causes to psychological disorders. Generally, Christians more than non-Christians attributed spiritual causes to psychological disorders and they were also more likely to seek pastoral care or Christian therapy when in distress. Hong Kong Chinese reported being more willing to seek therapy (across types) than Americans. In terms of causation, Hong Kong Chinese generally rated psychosocial and spiritual causes higher, while Americans rated biological causes higher.



Psychology., Psychotherapy., Religion., Christianity.