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Chapter 6 - Psychotherapy

The Spiritual Dimension

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 October 2022

Christopher C. H. Cook
Affiliation:
Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham University
Andrew Powell
Affiliation:
Formerly Warneford Hospital and University of Oxford
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Summary

In this chapter, the author sets out a unitive way of thinking about the relationship between spirituality, psychiatry and psychotherapy. An introduction to spirituality in mental health care is followed by a discussion of the meaning of ‘spirit’, ‘soul’ and ‘ego’ and how these terms may be understood with reference to ongoing developmental tasks. The poem I AM, written by the nineteenth-century poet John Clare, who suffered from enduring mental illness, is considered in depth from both psychoanalytic and Jungian approaches in order to illustrate different perspectives on Clare’s anguish and spiritual yearning. The evolution of transpersonal psychology, in which Jung’s concepts play an important part, is traced historically, with the increasing recognition of the value of spiritually orientated psychotherapy. The chapter concludes with several case studies by the author, illustrating how a range of soul-centred approaches can readily and helpfully engage with the spiritual reality of the patient.

Referencing the poem I AM by John Clare, who suffered from mental illness. Psychoanalytic and Jungian therapies are compared in order to illustrate different perspectives on Clare’s anguish and spiritual yearning. A brief history of the evolution of transpersonal theory and of spiritually oriented therapeutic approaches is provided, and the chapter concludes with case studies illustrating how soul-centred therapy can readily and helpfully engage with the spiritual reality of the patient.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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