A recent enterprise has been launched to increase insight into the interplay between religion and mental wellness. The initiative, called the California Mental Health & Spirituality Initiative, challenges the traditional mistrust of religion among many in the mental health profession. Two conferences to be held in June 2009 will bring together religious leaders and mental health professionals, and will attempt to advocate for “spirituality as a potential resource in mental health recovery and wellness”.
Psychoanalysis has traditionally considered patients’ religious beliefs and experiences to be, at best, a factor to be disregarded (or a signal of potential mental illness at worse).
An interview with Jay Mahler and the Director of the initiative, Rev. Laura Mancuso, can be found at Religion Dispatches.
Myth, Theory and Area Studies
By Daniela Merolla and Mineke Schipper, Leiden University, the Netherlands
(Vol. 4, January 2009)