Project Theme 2: Spirituality, Psychiatry, and Mental Health

Project Description: Interest continues to grow in understanding the complex interface between spirituality/religion and psychiatry but historical, conceptual and methodological obstacles persist. This project aims to explore the relationship between spirituality/religion, mental illness and its treatment across a broad front, using an interdisciplinary approach. Specific aims include to explore the neural substrates of mindfulness and religious experience; the differential diagnosis of mental conditions having spiritual dimensions; the effectiveness of spiritually sensitive, spiritually integrated and tradition specific treatment approaches; and the challenges of coordinating religious and psychiatric care - culminating in educational strategies that can assist clinicians and religious communities in identifying and caring optimally for those suffering from mental disorders.