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Psychotherapy and Religious Problems

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In the Netherlands religion on the one hand and mental health care on the other, have grown apart in the process of secularisation. Nowadays however one can witness a growing need amongst counselors and psychotherapists to be educated in the field of religion, meaning giving and world views (Van der Lans, Pieper, Van Uden, 1993; Raaijmakers, 1994). That religion is back in the focus of attention can also be concluded from the fact that in the latest version of the diagnostic bible, the DSM IV, a separate code (code: V 62.89) has been included for religious or spiritual problems (Lukoff, Lu, Turner, 1992). The case study of a patient with an obsessive-compulsive disorder, which we will present is meant as a contribution to this educational process. We will show how important it is to look at the religious frame of reference of a patient and how this can be handled in the psychotherapeutic treatment. The case will be put within the theoretical perspective of symbolic interactionism (Mead, 1934).

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