Positive Psychology and Religious Engagement---How the Fruit of the Spirit Makes Us Better

CE Credit: 1

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Length: 50 minutes


***Slides from some presenters may be missing from this session. They will be added when received***

Session offered by Division 36.

There has been a remarkable amount of interest in the relationship between science, faith, spirituality, positive psychology, and health and wellness promotion in most recent years as new scientifically-based research and clinical findings have appeared in the professional and popular press. In addition to the publication of high quality scholarly articles and books, the popular news weeklies have published cover stories on these and related topics on multiple occasions. The professional, medical, and psychological community has responded with numerous conferences, articles, and scholarly activities that have greatly helped move this area of research and practice forward.

In this symposium, we examine a broad range of topics that highlight both research and practice in spirituality and health integration that focuses on the positive benefits on spiritual and religious engagement for mental and physical health and well being as well as how spirituality and religion, broadly defined, make us better. Research has found that those engaged with spiritual and religious activities tend to be more forgiving, grateful, humble, tolerant, and have better physical and mental health. They tend to stay married, have better health habits, and volunteer their time and energy for the benefit of others. Our symposium seeks to provide a scholarly yet practical update on this topic and is the basis for an edited book project in preparation.

The presentations will articulate current findings and practice in positive psychology as it relates to spirituality and religion from a wide range of religious and spiritual traditions and from experts in the integration of psychology and religion in order to achieve well being and a better world.

The symposium is also based on an edited book project that is in preparation.

Learning Objective 1
State how the "fruit of the spirit" assist in health and well being with research evidence.

Learning Objective 2
Apply research findings of "fruit of the spirit" to practical and clinical examples.

Presenters: Thomas G. Plante, PhD (Chair); Robert A. Emmons, PhD; Everett L. Worthington, Jr., PhD; Peter C. Hill, PhD; Richard L. Gorsuch, PhD; Amy Wachholtz, PhD

Supplementary Materials

  • APA.2011.Fruit
  • APA.2011.Fruit.AMY
  • APA.2011.Fruit.PETER