Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 81–91 | Cite as

Introducing Spirituality into Psychiatric Care

  • Marc Galanter
  • Helen Dermatis
  • Nancy Talbot
  • Caitlin McMahon
  • Mary Jane Alexander


Spirituality is important to many psychiatric patients, and these patients may be moved toward recovery more effectively if their spiritual needs are addressed in treatment. This, however, is rarely given expression in the psychiatric services of teaching hospitals. In order to develop this potential area of improved care, we (1) evaluated the differential attitudes of patients and psychiatric trainees toward the value of spirituality in the recovery process, (2) established a program of group meetings conducted by psychiatric residents and staff where patients can discuss how to draw on their spirituality in coping with their problems, and (3) established related training experiences for psychiatric residents. The results and implications of these three initiatives are presented.


Spirituality Mental Illness Hospital Attitudes 



The authors wish to thank Ms. Lynda Curtis and Mary Anne Badaracco, M. D. for their administrative support for this program, the unit chiefs and program directors who gave us permission to conduct the groups in their treatment settings including Drs. Osman Ali, Gregory Bunt, Antonio Abad, and the staff members who volunteered their time in the conduct of patient groups: Elizabeth Vargas, Veronica Popoiu, Patricia Pueyrredon and Deniz Oktay.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Galanter
    • 1
    • 2
  • Helen Dermatis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nancy Talbot
    • 1
  • Caitlin McMahon
    • 1
  • Mary Jane Alexander
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the Center for Spirituality and HealthcareNew York University Langone Medical Center and Bellevue HospitalNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.The Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric ResearchNew YorkUSA

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