Spirituality is increasingly accepted as integral to human psychology, vital for physical and mental health. The Psychology of Spirituality is an accessible book that introduces the relationship between spirituality and psychology. The author sets out what spirituality is, the values it represents and how it can contribute to mental health and wellbeing. He then illustrates how knowledge of spirituality can provide a deeper understanding of peoples problems and can help them develop resilience and aid recovery. With reference to a new holistic or psycho-spiritual paradigm, the book then covers stages of spiritual development: from having natural spiritual awareness in early childhood to the waning of interest in later childhood; largely conforming to group mentality in adolescence before discovering individuality; and then the final journey towards full personal and emotional maturity. Finally, the author outlines practical advice on how to explore and make use of spirituality, covering a range of spiritual skills and practices, including meditation and contemplation. Each chapter includes case examples and exercises to explore the ideas covered. This book will be compelling reading for psychologists, psychiatrists, chaplains, healthcare professionals, students, and anyone wanting to understand better the role of spirituality and psychology in the lives of all.
Hello. I am a retired psychiatrist from Sussex, England. I have also written books on happiness using the pen-name Patrick Whiteside, one of which was endorsed personally by H.H. The Dalai Lama.
In 1999, I helped found the 'Spirituality and Psychiatry' special interest group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. We now have over 2,500 psychiatrist members.
I am a member and former Chair of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland. (Merton was a Cistercian monk who died in 1968 and a brilliant writer about a kind of unified spirituality bridging the major world faiths. I have found him to be a true and helpful guide for our troubled times.) I am also a member of the Scientific and Medical Network.
I have written several papers on spirituality in the context of health care and mental health care, and although this may sound heavy, I remember the 'flower-power'days and have learned not to take myself too seriously.
I am starting a blog real soon. You can follow it on the website of Psychology Today.