Introduction: Key concepts


Book Section

© Cambridge University Press 2009. WHY THIS BOOK? Patients facing illnesses may often use religion as a way to cope with the illness. What is problematic, however, is that sometimes symptoms have religious elements (e.g., delusion with religious content). However, clinicians involved in psychiatric care may have noticed that for patients with mental disorders, religion/spirituality also represents an important way of making sense of and coping with the stress that the illness causes. Despite these observations, clinicians often fail to inquire about the religious beliefs, practices, and experiences of patients, sometimes missing an opportunity to help relieve the suffering that psychiatric disorders cause. Some clinicians may have expertise in the religious aspects of psychiatric illness and are knowledgeable enough in this area to integrate it into their clinical practices; others may not know much about religion, may be reluctant to discuss issues related to it, and may completely avoid it in their encounters with patients. Thus, it is necessary to build a bridge between these two groups. This book tries to comprehensively and synthetically address such issues and seeks to give psychiatrists and other clinicians the tools they need to integrate religious and spiritual issues into their daily work with patients. A growing number of texts address religion, psychology, and psychiatry. The present book, however, seeks to give practical knowledge to clinicians who are not familiar with these issues and who may not a priori consider religion/spirituality when they take care of patients.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Huguelet, P; Koenig, HG

Published Date

  • January 1, 2009

Book Title

  • Religion and Spirituality in Psychiatry

Start / End Page

  • 1 - 5

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780521889520

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/CBO9780511576843.001

Citation Source

  • Scopus