Christian and Non-Christian Rational-Emotive Therapy And Review of Results Abstract This study is conducted to find out if whether CRET is more effective in treating Christian subjects suffering from depression than RET treatment. A group of participants are gathered and separated into two different study groups. One group of participants are treated individually with CRET and the other group with RET. It is found that neither treatment is more effective than the other in treating depression but rather both treatments are equally effective.
The exploratory study conducted by Johnson and Ridley studied the Christian form of rational-emotive therapy (CRET) compared to secular rational-emotive therapy (RET) in depressed Christian clients. The problem in this study was to learn if CRET treatment would be more effective in reducing depression in strongly religious clients compared to RET. This study was important to the authors because it was the first attempt to perform both forms of therapy techniques with depressed Christian clients.
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In these studies the authors came up with three different hypothesis: (a) both CRET and RET would be effective in reducing depression; (b) CRET would be more effective in reducing depression; and (c) clients who go through CRET would rate their therapist higher on qualities such as expertise and trustworthiness than clients who used RET treatment. Once again the overall purpose of this study was to compare both forms of depression treatment with people of Christian faith.
The hypothesis is translated into a testable question by testing two different depression treatments (CRET and RET). The operational variable is this study is which form of depression treatment for Christian participants is more effective? CRET or RET? To perform this study the researchers sent out an advertisement for short-term depression counseling and 21 clients were initially obtained. These clients consisted of theology grad students and church members. Next the clients went through a screening process. 7 of the 21 clients were intrinsic and moved on to the next screening. The remaining 17 respondents were administered the BDI (Beck Depression Inventory) and 10 respondents remained as qualified participants. The remaining 10 respondents were separated by gender than randomly assigned to two treatment groups. There were three men and two women per group. The participants in each group were seen individually twice a week for six sessions. The counselor for both groups was a 3rd-year male clinical psychology doctoral student.
Treatment consisted of four phases: Rational-Emotive Psycho-diagnostic phase, Rational-Emotive Insight phase, and the third and forth phases were termed Rational-Emotive Working Through. All participants in RET and CRET treatment groups were seen the same amount of time and given the same amount of assignments but CRET treatment was more distinct with three explicitly Christian components. In CRET participants were directed to dispute irrational beliefs using biblical scriptures, biblical counter-challenges, increased Christian content in assignments, and short prayer at the end of each individual treatments session.
After conducting this study the authors found no significant between-group differences on any of the variables making group 1 and 2 equivalent. Hypothesis (a) was supported because the researchers found no difference in effectiveness or CRET vs. RET. Hypothesis (b) was not supported because CRET treatment wasn’t substantially more effective than RET. Hypothesis (c) was not supported because both groups had similar perceptions of their counselor whether going through CRET or RET. After reviewing the study the researcher interpreted it’s results with some caution.
The major conclusion that the researcher drew based on the results was that neither CRET or RET depression therapy was proven to be more effective than the other. This research may be limited due to the small number of participants. The counselor was also the same for both all participants and is also an acknowledged Christian. Also, only self-reports were used to measure the dependent variables. Another limitation that I could think of was that this study might not have incorporated any new aspects on religion that the participants didn’t already know.
They were all proven to be strong Christian believers so how could biblical counter-challenges and increased Christian content in assignments be more effective given both groups already have a high level of faith. Overall I agree with the researchers that perhaps it isn’t necessarily important which treatment works best but rather that both treatments are effective in reducing depression. Reference: Johnson, W. B. & Ridley, C. R. (1992). Brief Christian and non-Christian rational-emotive therapy with depressed religious clients: An exploratory study. Counseling and Values, 36(3), 220-229.