Spirituality & Psychiatry
August 15th, 2010
It’s heartening to discover that 2,500 psychiatrists in the UK have joined this group:
“The Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists was founded to:
- help psychiatrists to share experiences and to explore spirituality in mental healthcare
- to increase knowledge of the research linking spirituality with better health
- to raise the profile of spirituality in patient care.
The SPSIG has now over 2500 psychiatrist members. It runs an active programme of one-day events for members and holds occasional conferences open to the general public.”
As someone with an academic background in psychology and religion/spirituality, I think this is a wonderful development. I especially like that the site makes a distinction between spirituality and religon, and the way it defines spirituality as:
” * a deep-seated sense of meaning and purpose in life
* a sense of belonging
* a sense of connection of ‘the deeply personal with the universal’
* acceptance, integration and a sense of wholeness.”
I am not a religious person in any sense, and do not believe in a deity, but I consider my relationship with the world (and my inner world) to be a spiritual one. It is a very well-researched fact that having some form of spiritual practice, whether ‘religious’ or not, helps to boost mental and physical health, increases self-awareness and self-esteem and leads to becoming a more compassionate person. Even an atheist can, and should, be able to be spiritual in this sense (see Sam Harris for example).
It is indeed time that psychology began to integrate spirituality in with other forms of healing and therapy, and I look forward to seeing the results of this group’s work.
Thanks for posting this link!
This heart warming indeed. Where I live it is common usage in psychiatric practice to leave the spiritual part to the chaplains and such of the institutions and hospitals; however there are some workers who integrate some touch of spirituality into their treatment, which is often not appreciated by their peers.
There is still a lot to be done for anchoring in ones spirituality perhaps does not “cure” you, it can certainly strengthen you on your life’s journey.
It’s interesting and amusing to watch healthcare professionals try to quantify spirituality and religion. However, I’m also glad they are talking about it and trying to understand it.
It is also worth mentioning that a person who is a part of a minority spirituality or religion can learn how to effectively dodge questions like the ones presented on the website that you provided.