Psychotherapy & Liaison Skills
The past several decades have been marked by increasing inquiry and discovery revealing the complex interconnection between religion/spirituality (R/S) and psychiatric wellness (1). Numerous studies have similarly examined the role of R/S in coping with physical illness (2), with the interaction of R/S with mental health in chronically ill patients (3). For the C-L psychiatrist at the intersection of medicine and psychiatry, understanding the role of R/S in a patient’s illness experience can enhance one’s ability to provide a high quality, person-centered consultation. With an expanding multicultural patient population in the U.S., the ability to assess and include patients’ R/S in clinical care is likely to become increasingly important in the future of C-L psychiatry. In this symposium we discuss current literature on R/S and medical psychiatry, describe techniques for C-L psychiatrists to assess patient R/S to inform and enhance care, and provide clinical examples from the C-L setting to illustrate how audience members may apply principles from the literature.
- Dr. Chang will review current research on how R/S relate to mental and physical health, with a focus on R/S in C-L psychiatry. (15 minutes)
- Dr. Herschkopf will discuss literature on whether patients want physicians to ask them about R/S, and the possibility of therapeutic benefit to patients from being asked about R/S. (15 minutes)
- Dr. Kao will describe a variety of techniques psychiatrists may use to ask patients about R/S. This will include an overview of published tools to help physicians gather a spiritual history, and a discussion of how to use R/S information to aid in formulation, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations. (15 minutes)
- Drs. Kaplan and Peteet will discuss clinical vignettes involving R/S and C-L psychiatry. Dr. Kaplan will share about R/S issues that arise as a C-L psychiatrist performing evaluations for patients pursuing the California End of Life Option Act. Dr. Peteet will discuss examples of how R/S can affect decision-making capacity assessments, safety evaluations, and differential diagnoses in patients demonstrating hyperreligiosity. (20 minutes)
- Following the above talks, there will be time for the audience to ask questions and discuss cases. All speakers will serve as discussants.
1. Bonelli, R. M., & Koenig, H. G. (2013). Mental disorders, religion and spirituality 1990 to 2010: a systematic evidence-based review. Journal of Religion and Health, 52(2), 657-673.
2. Stewart, W. C., Adams, M. P., Stewart, J. A., & Nelson, L. A. (2013). Review of clinical medicine and religious practice. Journal of Religion and Health, 52(1), 91-106.
3. Lucette, A., Ironson, G., Pargament, K. I., & Krause, N. (2016). Spirituality and religiousness are associated with fewer depressive symptoms in individuals with medical conditions. Psychosomatics, 57(5), 505-513.