Political attitudes and religiosity levels of Israeli psychotherapy practitioners and students

G Rubinstein
American Journal of Psychotherapy 1994, 48 (3): 441-54
This study investigated the political attitudes (PA) and religiosity level (RL) of a practitioners sample, comprising 82 psychiatrists, 222 clinical psychologists, and 113 psychiatric social workers, and a students sample comprising 69 B.A. and 65 M.A. students in psychology, and 73 B.A. students in social work, who intended to practice psychotherapy. PAs were measured by the subjects' voting intentions, self-definition, and attitudes toward Capitalism-Socialism and the occupied territories. RL was judged by special measures developed for the Jewish population in Israel, which were adapted for secular psychotherapists. Subjects also defined both themselves and their parents regarding PA and RL. The results are similar to findings of previous studies, indicating that psychotherapists support the political left and conduct a secular way of life. No significant differences were found between practitioners and students regarding PA and RL. A significant decrease in subjects' right-wing attitudes and RL relative to their parents was found. It is suggested that the similarity between practitioners and students regarding PA and RL could imply that supporting the political left and low RL preceded the decision to practice psychotherapy. The therapeutic implications of the differences between therapists and clients regarding PA and RL are also discussed.

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