• William L. Hathaway, Ph.D.
    Dean, School of Psychology & Counseling, Regent University

    William L. Hathaway, Ph.D., is a clinical child psychologist and clinical psychologist of religion. He spent more than two decades in practice in varied clinical roles as an Air Force psychologist, chief of an interdisciplinary Army department providing comprehensive assessment/treatment services to children, in outpatient practice, and as a postdoctoral fellow with Russell Barkley’s AD/HD clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Since 1997, he has been a professor and administrator in the integrative doctoral psychology program at Regent University, where he is also dean. He also holds appointments in philosophy departments at Old Dominion University and Saint Leo University and values insights in psychology drawn from interdisciplinary training. He has been an active contributor to the clinical psychology of religion and spirituality throughout his career, through scholarship and in professional service roles. He is co-editor of APA’s pioneering text on spiritually oriented clinical child psychology titled Spiritual Interventions in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (2012).

    During the afternoon session, Hathaway will explore the still-immature field of religious development studies. The general status of child religious development research will be briefly reviewed. Insights for faith development from developmental psychopathology will then be discussed with session participants. Issues of psychoemotional dysregulation, childhood psychosis, neurodevelopmental disorders, and other forms of child psychopathology will be harnessed to suggest important considerations for future research and applied work with faith development in children.

    In his evening presentation, Hathaway will provide an overview of the current state of clinical child psychology of religion. The promise offered by this emerging specialty niche will be explored. Examples of pioneering work such as Walker’s Spiritually Oriented Trauma Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Hathaway’s work on the clinically significant religious impairments arising from AD/HD and other externalizing disorders will be presented. The evening will conclude with the presentation of a vision for where spiritually oriented clinical mental health work could go. Hathaway will argue that this domain may hold promise simultaneously as perhaps the most potent and yet most underaddressed developmental resource for children. The practical steps that must be taken in research, training, regulation, and funding for this promise to be realized will be considered. The session will conclude by considering how a specialty model in clinical child psychology, fully realized, could provide a transformative blueprint for generalist and specialty practice with spiritual issues throughout the mental health professions.