Title

Addressing spirituality in its clinical complexities: Its potential for healing, its potential for harm

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

6-1-2002

Journal

Journal of Family Psychotherapy

Volume

13

Issue

1-2

DOI

10.1300/J085v13n01_09

Keywords

Collaborative; Family therapy; Spirituality

Abstract

The decade of the 1990s brought increasing acknowledgment by mental health clinicians of the importance of spirituality in many clients' and patients' lives. This acknowledgment has opened therapy to healing resources that spirituality can offer. However, it also means that a clinician must address how spirituality can be expressed destructively. We illustrate a clinical approach towards elucidating this complexity, supporting healing roles for spirituality while countering harmful ones, through the telling of one mother and son's journey in search of treatment for a disabling psychiatric disorder. These clinical principles characterize a collaborative, dialogical approach for engaging a person's spiritual life in therapy, both its potential for healing and potential for harm. © 2002 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

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