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Religion, Culture and Mental Health


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Schizophrenia; 3. Manic disorder; 4. Depression; 5. Anxiety; 6. Somatization; 7. Dissociation; 8. Positive states; 9. Conclusion.

Promotional Information

Analyses the religious and cultural influences on common psychiatric disorders.

About the Author

Kate Loewenthal is Professor of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has published numerous articles and spoken at international conferences on her research areas of the impact of religious and cultural factors on mental health, and of family size in relation to well-being. Her research has also earned her funding from the Economic and Social Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the Leverhulme Trust and the Nuffield Foundation. She serves on the editorial board of several journals concerned with the psychological aspects of religion, and is an editor of Mental Health, Religion and Culture.


Reviews of the hardback: 'This book offers an excellent introduction to the field of religion, culture and mental health. It is comprehensive in its overview of contemporary studies. It reads in a clear and lucid way and will be useful for anyone in the field of mental health, religion and culture.' Simon Dein, Consultant Psychiatrist and Senior Lecturer, University College Hospital London
'Psychology has long needed a text on psychopathology and religion. Now we have it. This excellent book - scholarly, even-handed, and appreciative of the diversity of religion and culture - should provide just the jump-start we need to advance the state of research and practice in the field of religion and mental health.' Kenneth I. Pargament, Bowling Green State University
'This book provides a challenging, cogent, and well-documented overview of religion, mental health and culture and is a must-read for researchers, practitioners and students interested in the processes through which religion is related to mental health. As well as the traditional focus on mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, Professor Loewenthal also reviews the recent literature on the positive psychology of religion and happiness. Case examples are used throughout the book to illustrate the issues in thoughtful and insightful ways and, coupled with Professor Loewenthal's research and personal wisdom, make this book a compelling read.' Stephen Joseph, University of Nottingham
'In a time of increasingly polarised and politicised views of religion, it has become difficult to think clearly about the impact of religious practice on mental health and illness. Yet, for many people, religion and spirituality are crucial resources for making sense of suffering and affliction. In this thoughtful text, Kate Loewenthal has mapped out the diverse interactions between religion and psychiatry relevant to clinical care. With its careful consideration of the role of religious experience in illness and healing, this book will help practitioners address one of the most central sources of meaning in patients' lives.' Laurence J. Kirmayer, McGill University and Editor-in-Chief of Transcultural Psychiatry
'The obvious strengths of the book are Loewenthal's knowledge and expertise within the field of psychology and religion, the didactic nature of her discourse, and the sheer amount of information, which is succinctly summarized for those with particular academic interests in this area. However, clinicians will also find the material relevant to multicultural and multiethnic practice, especially related to matters of discernment and interpretation of a client's behaviour within the influence of religion and culture on their psychopathology, or conversely, the use of religion and culture in order to restore or enhance optimal functioning.' Community Mental Health Journal
'... [Loewenthal] brings credibility, balance, and clarity to the subject, anchored in genuine scholarship. The book's brevity ... belies the richness of the source material, much of it recent, that she taps for her discussion.' Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
'... includes many case examples ... Each chapter concludes with a review of the findings, providing a succinct overview of the research position ... Religion, Culture and Mental Health definitely challenges some of the assumptions that people may have around the possible adverse impact of religious belief and practice on mental health.' Inclusion News

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