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Religion in Mental Health Care: Psychotherapists' Views

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This paper presents the results of an empirical study among two groups of psychotherapists in the Netherlands. One group works in a mental health institution based on religious principles (the Gliagg), and the other group in a general mental health institution (the Riagg). The investigation starts with an overview of the religious background and religious practices of the therapists. Some equations with the average Dutch citizen are made. The next part of the study deals with the perception by psychotherapists of religious issues connected with psycho-social problems. How often in their opinion is there a relation and what kind of relation is at issue? The third part of the study considers the way in which psychotherapists treat these religious issues. Do they attend to them and what kind of (religious) interventions are used? Special attention is given to the question of whether there are contacts with the clergy. We conclude that religion should be given a more pronounced place in general mental health care and that Riagg psychotherapists, in particular, should become better equipped to deal with religious issues.


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