Victor Counted specializes in social psychology and environmental psychology, with emphasis on the psychological aspects of religious and place experiences. He is based at Western Sydney University (Australia) and the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and Research Associate of the Cambridge Institute for Applied Psychology and Religion. Presently, Victor lives and works in Sydney (Australia), teaching classes in social sciences and psychology and researching the intersection of religion, place, and health using relational frameworks such as adult attachment theory, psychoanalysis, and objects relations theory. His work has been featured in several international peer-reviewed journals, and he is currently co-editing a book on “Religion and place: Psychological perspectives” and completing his new book “Finding God without losing yourself: Resolving the internal conflict with God and self.” When not researching, he enjoys trying new restaurants, movies, destinations around the world, and sharing the message of hope and healing with other travelers on the road of life.

Victor Counted, PhD

Salt of the Earth & Light of the World

Current Affiliations

Cambridge Institute forApplied Psychology & Religion

Research Associate

Western Sydney University

Casual Academic Staff

Zuphland Ministries

Missionary Teacher

Third Millennium Africa Project (TMAP)

Co-founder & Project Leader

Educational Background

Western Sydney University, Australia

PhD Social & Environmental Psychology

University of Groningen, Netherlands

PhD Religious Studies (Psychology of Religion & Spiritual Care)

Stellenbosch University, South Africa

MPhil Religion & Culture (Psychology of Religion)

Research and Teaching Interests

Psychology of Religion and Spirituality

I am interesting in the theoretical and methodological empirical inquiry into the study of religion, belief/non-belief, and experience in multicultural and multi-faith societies. I am particularly interested in exploring the individual’s experience, both personal and social, through a variety of psychological theories, tools, and methods. My research has contributed to the study of 1) relational spirituality and 2) place spirituality in the psychology of religion field. My scholarly work extends the conceptualization of spirituality into the domain of intimate relationships that involve attachment to God, subjective religiosity, relational psychoanalysis, an interplay of God and self, and the intersection of people-place and believer-God relationships. Since most of the empirical studies conducted in the area of relational spirituality have focused on North American Christian population, my research has expanded the framework to include the experiences of people in other cross-cultural contexts.

Social and Developmental Psychology

Most of my scholarly work coalesce around adult attachment theory and my interest has been to understand how people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied relationship with others.

Spiritual Care and Counselling

Interested in developing models of emotional and spiritual support that can be helpful in all cultures and religious traditions. This is reflected in my scholarly work on ‘Theology of Juxtaposition’, ‘Missional Therapy’, and ‘Caregiving Faith Theology’.

Environmental Psychology

I am interested in the interplay between individuals and their environments. Particularly, I am interested in environment-behaviour theories such as place attachment and sense of place, and how these concepts can help us understand religious behaviour

Religion, Place, and Health

I am interested in the complex and changing relationship between religion, place, and health in migration and humanitarian contexts.

Attachment, Terrorism, and Psychopathology

I am interested in attachment-related terrorism and religious psychopathology. My work examines the consequence of attachment relationships with God, and to place, as object/s of attachment. In other words, I am asking, ‘What if individuals involved in acts of terrorism are predisposed to psychopathological issues that are linked to their attachment bond with a religious figure or a significant place of attachment?’; ‘What happens when one’s attachment to a particular place is disrupted through war conflict and external invasion?’; ‘What happens to the individual when their relationship with a religious figure (e.g. God, Allah, etc.) is disrupted through bigotry and slurs?’; and ‘How can we understand radicalization through the lens of attachment?’

Research Methods

I am passionate about research and interested in equipping students and leaders with quantitative and qualitative research skills that will enable them to be effective researchers in their respective fields.

Membership and Fellowships

Cambridge Institute for Applied Psychology and Religion

Research Associate

Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR)


International Place Attachment Network (IPAN)

Member of IPAN, an arm of the International Association for People-Environment Studies (IAPS).

African Studies Association of Australasia and South Pacific (AFSAAP)


More Info?

Click on any of the buttons below to download my publications and learn more about my research and speaking engagements.