RELIGION, HUMAN ADJUSTMENT, AND ROLE OF THE PSYCHOLOGIST
Haque, A., International Islamic University, Malaysia
Despite an uneasy relationship between psychology and religion in the past, there are growing indications of their mutual integration especially in the treatment arena. Many empirical researches are showing that religion can help people adapt and adjust to the daily demands of life. This study is a review research of the positive and negative influences of religion on human adjustment mainly in the areas of self-identity, physical health, mental health, coping in the elderly and substance abuse populations, suicide and death, and marital satisfaction and divorce. The paper also examines how major schools of psychology treat religious clients and what major religions have to offer in terms of coping mechanisms. It discusses several issues pertinent to the topic, e.g. training of psychologists, religious biases, client's rights to treatment, research needs, etc. It is concluded that a more successful therapeutic outcome is likely when the psychologist considers client's value system and utilizes an integrated approach in the treatment of religious clients.