Spiritual Formation

Psychiatry Needs to Get it Right With God

by David H. Rosmarin

In a recent article published in Scientific American, Dr. David H. Rosmarin argues that psychiatry needs to take spirituality more seriously in the context of mental health care. Despite the potential clinical benefits of spirituality and patients’ desire for spiritual treatments, health care professionals often ignore potential spiritual solutions to mental health crises. Rosmarin’s own research has demonstrated that a belief in God is associated with significantly better treatment outcomes for acute psychiatric patients. Furthermore, a pilot program at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts indicates that attention to spirituality is a critical aspect of mental health care. Rosmarin suggests that further scientific exploration is needed, and patients in distress should have the option to include spirituality in their treatment.

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How Prayer Strengthens Your Spiritual Health

by Madeline Vann

“Prayer and spirituality can offer a bigger sense of purpose, provide social support, and help you cope with difficulties. Regular spiritual practice has been linked to various health benefits, including preventing depression. Despite the challenges of studying the impact of prayer, researchers have found that it can have physiological effects on the body, such as calming the cardiovascular system and reducing stress. While serious health problems require medical attention, spirituality can play a key role in coping with life’s challenges. Personal stories, such as that of Tiffanie Lyon, vice president of operations for TEEM Academy and an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Slidell, Louisiana, attest to the power of prayer in providing a sense of peace, hope, and gratitude in the midst of chaos.”

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An Epidemic of Moral Injury

by Rita Nakashima Brock

Rita Nakashima Brock explores the intersection of trauma and theology, arguing that Christians have an opportunity to transform a faith that has fueled genocide, slavery, war, and kleptocracy. Brock draws on her experience as senior vice president and director of the Shay Moral Injury Center at Volunteers of America to offer insights on how to heal moral injury through nurturing trustworthy relationships and integrating moral injury experiences into our lives and communities. She also reflects on her own journey of changing her mind about atonement theology and embracing a life-affirming, this-worldly faith. Brock’s essay is part of a series published by The Christian Century in which leading thinkers reflect on their own struggles, disappointments, and hopes.

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Chaplains Distinctly Equipped to Address Moral Injury

In times of crisis, healthcare workers face significant moral and ethical challenges that can lead to moral injury. While many healthcare professionals are trained to deal with physical and mental health issues, chaplains are distinctly equipped to address moral injury. In this article, the author explores the unique role that chaplains play in helping healthcare workers process and cope with moral injury, and how they can help promote resilience and emotional well-being among those on the front lines of patient care. Drawing on real-world examples, the article highlights the ways in which chaplains can provide essential support and guidance to healthcare workers dealing with the moral complexities of their work.

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