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Spirituality and religion in psychiatric practice: why all the fuss?

  • Michael King (a1) and Gerard Leavey (a1) (a2)
Summary

In this article we suggest that controversy over interventions such as prayer in psychiatric practice distracts attention from a serious consideration of the role of spirituality in our society. There is abundant evidence that spiritual belief, experience and practice gives meaning to many people and thus whatever they think of its truth value, psychiatrists cannot ignore it.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Michael King (m.king@medsch.ucl.ac.uk)
Footnotes
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*

See commentary, pp. 193–195, this issue.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Koenig, HG. Religion and mental health: what should psychiatrists do? Psychiatr Bull 2008; 32: 201–3.
2 Taylor, C. A Secular Age. Harvard University Press, 2007.
3 Neeleman, J, King, MB. Psychiatrists' religious attitudes in relation to their clinical practice: a survey of 231 psychiatrists. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1993; 88: 420–4.
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7 Frankl, V. Man's Search for Meaning. Rider, 2004.
8 Leavey, G, Loewenthal, K, King, M. Challenges to sanctuary: the clergy as a resource for mental health care in the community. Soc Sci Med 2007; 65: 548–59.
9 Roberts, L, Ahmed, I, Hall, S. Intercessory prayer for the alleviation of ill health. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007; 2: CD000368.
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15 Armstrong, K. The Spiral Staircase. Anchor Books, 2005.
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19 Wittgenstein, L. Culture and Value. Blackwell, 1980.
20 Koenig, HG. Handbook of Religion and Mental Health. Academic Press, 1998.
21 Sloan, RP, Bagiella, E, Powell, T. Religion, spirituality and medicine. Lancet 1999; 353: 664–7.
22 Schulman, JJ, Meador, KG. Health Thyself: Spirituality, Medicine and the Distortion of Christianity. Oxford University Press, 2002.
23 Eagleton, T. Reason, Faith and Revolution. Reflections on the God Debate: 9. Yale University Press, 2009.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 1758-3209
  • EISSN: 1758-3217
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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Spirituality and religion in psychiatric practice: why all the fuss?

  • Michael King (a1) and Gerard Leavey (a1) (a2)
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