Is Religion Enough? A Comparative Study of Religious Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (RCBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CT) In Substance Abuse Treatment

  • Charlotte O. Kwakye-Nuako Psychology Department, Methodist University College Ghana
Keywords: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Religious Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Substance Abuse, Religion


Religion has always been a part of the healing process for Ghanaians. To investigate its relative influence in healing using psychological principles, this study was conducted to find out if religion combined with cognitive behavioral skills would serve to decrease the amount of substances used by seventy-two (72) patients admitted to 3 psychiatric hospitals for abusing alcohol, marijuana and cigarettes. The study also aimed at finding out the effect of church attendance and religious affiliation on substance abuse. A clinical quasi experimental study with a pre-post-test treatment design was employed. Results showed that Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT) alone was effective in reducing alcohol use, but Cognitive Behavioral therapy combined with religion (RCBT) had no effect on the use of any of the substances. Church attendance had no significant influence on the use of any of the substances. However, denominational affiliation affected marijuana abuse. The implications for therapy and further research are discussed.