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Integrating religious faith into patient care: Commentary On… The Role of Faith in Mental Health Care

  • Harold G. Koenig and Faten Al Zaben

We examine Foreman's assertion that assessing, addressing and utilising a patient's faith is warranted. After a brief background, we examine when faith-integrated therapy is indicated, the need for training, an example of such a therapy, and what to do when the faith of the therapist conflicts with that of the patient. Also emphasised is the need for a clear definition of terms.

Corresponding author
Harold G. Koenig, M.D., Box 3400 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA. E-mail:
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See pp. 419–425, this issue.

Declaration of Interest


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Foreman, DM (2017) The role of faith in mental healthcare: philosophy, psychology and practice. BJPsych Advances, 23: 419425.
General Medical Council (2013) Good Medical Practice. GMC.
Koenig, HG (2008) Concerns about measuring ‘spirituality’ in research. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 196: 349–55.
Koenig, HG, King, DE, Carson, VB (2012) Handbook of Religion and Health (2nd edn). Oxford University Press USA.
Koenig, HG, Berk, LS, Daher, N, et al (2014) Religious involvement, depressive symptoms, and positive emotions in the setting of chronic medical illness and major depression. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 77: 135–43.
Koenig, HG, Pearce, MJ, Nelson, B, Shaw, , et al (2015a) Religious vs. conventional cognitive behavioral therapy for major depression in persons with chronic medical illness: a pilot randomized trial. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 203: 243–51.
Koenig, HG, Pearce, MJ, Nelson, B, et al (2015b) Effects of religious vs. standard cognitive-behavioral therapy on optimism in persons with major depression and chronic medical illness. Depression and Anxiety, 32: 835–42.
Pearce, MJ, Koenig, HG, Robins, CJ, et al (2015) Religiously integrated cognitive behavioral therapy: a new method of treatment for major depression in patients with chronic medical illness. Psychotherapy, 52: 5666.
Ross, JJ, Kennedy, GA, Macnab, F (2015) The Effectiveness of Spiritual/Religious Interventions in Psychotherapy and Counselling: A Review of the Recent Literature. Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia.
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BJPsych Advances
  • ISSN: 2056-4678
  • EISSN: 2056-4686
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Integrating religious faith into patient care: Commentary On… The Role of Faith in Mental Health Care

  • Harold G. Koenig and Faten Al Zaben
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