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Impact of Spiritual and Religious Coping on PTSD

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Comprehensive Guide to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders

Abstract

Religion and spirituality can offer a powerful narrative and transcendent meaning in the face of trauma. When an individual uses religious beliefs or practices as a way of adapting to physical, psychological, and social challenges, this is termed religious or spiritual coping. Research on religious and spiritual coping suggests that purpose and meaning in life are associated with lower levels of PTSD symptoms and higher levels of positive emotions, but when an individual’s belief system is unable to make sense of the trauma or assist the individual in finding an integrated narrative, then the trauma can trigger a newfound questions about the existence of God and meaning in life. Spiritual struggle can result in greater levels of PTSD symptoms and complications on the path to recovery. This chapter will describe what religious and spiritual coping is, how it is associated with PTSD, and how clinicians can ethically and effectively integrate religious and spiritual dimensions into clinical work.

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Abbreviations

MRP:

Mantram repetition program

PRACTICE:

Psychoeducation and parental treatment, relaxation, affective expression and modulation, cognitive coping skills, trauma narrative and cognitive processing of the trauma, in vivo desensitization to trauma reminders, conjoint parent–child sessions, and enhancing safety and future development

PTSD:

Post-traumatic stress disorder

SHAT:

Spiritual-hypnosis assisted therapy

ST:

Spirituality and trauma

TF-CBT:

Trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy

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Correspondence to Courtney L. Slater .

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Slater, C.L., Bordenave, J., Boyer, B.A. (2016). Impact of Spiritual and Religious Coping on PTSD. In: Martin, C., Preedy, V., Patel, V. (eds) Comprehensive Guide to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08359-9_49

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