Spirituality and Psychosis: the Need for a More Holistic Approach to Intervention

Ann-Marie Covert1; 1Canadian Mental Health Association HKPR Branch

Purpose: Literature identifying the value of recognizing a person’s spiritual significance while treating their symptoms of psychosis has certainly increased over the last decade. Researchers assert that youth presenting with psychosis manifesting religious frameworks, or who have a personal supernatural belief system not directly related to positive symptoms, require an intervention that goes beyond pharmacology, social rehabilitation, and psychoeducation. A therapeutic intervention acknowledging the intangible sense of self, the world, and the supernatural is required for truly holistic mental health recovery and improved quality of life. However, while this energetic movement has excited early interventionists from ethical, moral and cultural aptitude perspectives, this spiritually holistic knowledge database has yet to translate to the applications of daily practice. Methods: Literature review, summarizing existing qualitative and quantitative data, in addition to anecdotal self-reports from recipients and providers of mental health service. Results: Literature identifies that individuals with psychosis who had mental health therapists who not only acknowledged the client’s spiritual self, but used it as a gateway for therapy described satisfaction with their therapy and a greater sense of recovery than individuals whose therapists did not utilize their spiritual identity as a framework for intervention. Therapists acknowledge the value of a spiritually holistic approach, but identify hesitation to work from this platform. Conclusion: In conclusion, the need for a spiritually holistic approach for youth with psychosis has been clearly identified in the literature, and now mental health professionals are challenged and must be equipped to provide care that acknowledges clients’ spiritual selves.

Topic Area: Psychosocial Interventions

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