Spirituality and Mental Health Care
Rediscovering a 'Forgotten' Dimension
By John Swinton
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
A person's sense of spirituality informs his or her awareness of self and of the society around them, and is intrinsic to their mental well-being. In this balanced and thoughtful book John Swinton explores the connections between mental health or illness and spirituality and draws on these to provide practical guidance for people working in the mental health field. He analyses a range of models of mental health care provision that will enable carers to increase their awareness of aspects of spirituality in their caring strategies.Using a critical evidence-based and interdisciplinary approach to contemporary mental health practice, Swinton explores the therapeutic significance of spirituality from the perspectives of both carers and service-users, looking at mental health problems such as psychotic disorder and depression, Alzheimer's disease and bipolar disorder. He also provides a critical review of existing literature in the field to place spirituality in contemporary theory and practice.
'The author of this timely study, who comes from a background in psychiatric nursing and hospital chaplaincy, is currently a lecturer in Practical Theology at Aberdeen. His achievement is to have written a practical and in part evidence-based study of the spiritual aspects of psychiatric practice, both as they are and as they might become. Whatever our own beliefs, we can afford no longer to neglect the spiritual dimension of our patients' suffering. This information-rich and clearly written book charts relatively unknown territory with which we urgently need to become much more familiar.'- The Scientific and Medical Network Review'Please do not be put off by the rather lengthy title of this interesting book, it is an easy read with a lot of food for thought, on a subject that Society often takes for granted - namely the need for a sense of direction in one's life, and the connection between innate spirituality.If you are working with clients who have mental problems, this book will help guide and inform you if you are not (and I am not) then this book will provide you with a voyage of self awareness.'- Child Care Team Manchester Rochdale MBC'Spirituality in nursing has been sidelined for generations - being reduced largely to ascertaining the patient's religion then informing the nearest chaplain. This book makes a very strong case for the relevance of a deeper knowledge and skills base in the field of spirituality for nurses and other health care practitioners as an integral aspect of holistic care. It offers much theoretical and practical advice (e.g. giving examples of specific mental health problems such as depression and schizophrenia and suggestions for tools for spiritual assessment). It ought to be used as a core text for those who encounter people with mental health problems and who wish (ought) to embrace spirituality in everyday care.'- Accident and Emergency Nursing
John Swinton is Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care at the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy; King's College, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, and a minister in the Church of Scotland.
Introduction. 1. What is spirituality? 2. The neglect of the spiritual. 3. Spirituality and mental health care: Exploring the literature. 4. Living with meaninglessness: The lived experience of spirituality in the context of depression. 5. Enabling spiritual healing: Developing an understanding of spiritual care. Conclusion. References. Index.
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