Therapy with Religious Clients

Instructor: Natasha Helfer, LMFT, CSTS
We created this course to help counselors and therapists provide competent and affirming treatment for clients from religious backgrounds - specifically religiously conservative backgrounds.

By enrolling in this course, you will understand how to honor clients within their cultural and religious spaces while offering the best standards of care, as well as the skill of keeping personal bias in check.

You will also discover both protective and non-protective factors spirituality and religion can have in the lives of clients and treatment methods and interventions a therapist should consider when working with religiously conservative people.

# of CEs: 4 hours

Level of Instruction: Intermediate, Post-Graduate


  1. Be able to understand some of the historical conflicts within the field of psychology/psychiatry and religion.
  2. Be able to understand the importance of why religious and spiritual competency is important in effective treatment planning and reaching therapeutic goals.
  3. Be able to identify a spectrum of conservatism vs. liberal religious traditions, and the factors that play into how religions are sorted. Be able to identify the statistics of a diversity of religious populations in the United States. 
  4. Be able to consider your own religious or a-religious history considering this information, and the clinical implications of your own bias.
  5. Be able to identify both protective and non-protective factors spirituality and religion can have in the lives of your clients. 
  6. Be able to identify some treatment methods and interventions a therapist should consider when working with religiously conservative people.

Why Should You Take This Course?

  • We are expected to practice mental health in ways that are Religiously and Spiritually Competent.

  • Most of us have not received the training necessary to claim this competency in multicultural diversity.
  • Most mental health practitioners have deep seated bias against or towards religion that affects the treatment of your client.
  • Most clients want us to ask about their religious and spiritual beliefs and practices Treatment plans that include appropriate assessment and R/S competency result in better treatment results.
  •  Earn credit for license renewal--scroll down to see which organizations have approved The Buehler Institute as a provider of continuing education!
Learn What's Important
Religion and spirituality are powerful aspects of the human experience and should not be ignored during mental health treatment. While training programs routinely include multicultural training, clinicians receive little to no training on how to work with folks from religious backgrounds, how to include religious and spiritual factors in treatment planning, or how these competencies can help with more successful treatment results.
Learn by Example

Research shows that religion and spirituality are considered important factors in many people's lives, and they would prefer clinicians to be comfortable discussing them.

Natasha Helfer, LMFT, CSTS

Natasha Helfer LMFT, CST-S, received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University and her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Friends University.

She also received her certifications as a sex therapist and sex therapist supervisor from the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT).

Helfer is a speaker, writer, and podcaster with 23 years of clinical experience primarily working with a Mormon clientele around issues of relational health, faith transitions and journeys, and sexuality. She writes a blog called "The Mormon Therapist," and hosts the podcasts "Mormon Mental Health," and "Mormon Sex Info."

Helfer has authored two books: “One Family, Two Views” (mixed-faith marriage) and “Check your Baggage” (challenging sex negative messages). Helfer has presented all over the country both in professional and public settings, has been invited as a guest speaker at several national and international events as well as been interviewed on a variety of podcasts, TV news programs and newspapers.

Helfer was recently excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka Mormon church) for issues surrounding her advocacy for sexual health.

LearnReligionTherapy.com by
The Buehler Institute

The Buehler Institute was created to provide the highest quality training in human sexuality for mental health professionals and healthcare providers. Its founder, Dr. Stephanie Buehler, is a licensed psychologist and author of a bestselling sex therapy textbook, among others. Our educational programs are designed to help people seeking AASECT certification in an effective and engaging format.

We are located virtually but our mailing address is:
31677 Virginia Way, #9327
Laguna Beach, CA 92651

The best way to reach us is by email:

Here is our phone number.

The Buehler Institute is approved as a provider of continuing education by the following agencies. Many states licensing boards will accept CEs from these agencies for license renewal. It is, however, the responsibility of the enrollee to inquire with their state licensing board.

The Buehler Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Buehler Institute maintains responsibility for all programs and their content.
The Buehler Institute has been approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) as an Approved Continuing Education Provider. The Buehler Institute is
solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
The Buehler Institute is an institutional provider for the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). Provider #12-138-Q.
The Buehler Institute is approved as a continuing education provider for the California Board of Registered Nursing. Provider #CEP 16394.