Doctor of Philosophy
One Mind or Two? How Psychiatrists and Clinical Psychologists Bridge
the Gap between the Medical-Scientific and Religious Interpretation
Dr. Vyacheslav Karpov, Chair
Dr. Victoria Ross
Dr. David Hartmann
Dr. Robert Ulin
February 12, 2003 Wednesday 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Building upon concepts from sociology of medicine, religion,
knowledge, and professions, this study explores the social determinants
of separation and integration of medical-scientific and religious approaches
to mind and mental health. Using qualitative interviews, it shows how,
to what extent, and why psychiatrists and clinical psychologists of
Judeo-Christian religious orientations are willing or reluctant to integrate
religious and spiritual paradigms in their mental health practices.
The study turns to content analysis of 3,680 articles from two leading
professional journals to assess the participants' claims regarding the
treatment of religion prevalent in psychiatry and psychology.
Most of the study participants were found to believe that medical-scientific
and religious-spiritual paradigms are equally important and may coexist
or even be integrated in psychotherapeutic practice. However, actual
attempts to integrate them usually reflected the practitioners' personal
religious backgrounds and initiatives and/or were client driven. Yet
these integration initiatives were found to face powerful institutional
impediments ranging from politico-cultural norms of separation of religion
from secular institutions, to traditions of marginalization of religious
issues in professional literatures. Thus, this study shows that the
recently popular appeals to bridge the traditional and alternative medical
approaches and to overcome the mind-body separation in mental health
practices may be unrealistic unless the institutional obstacles to such
integrative approaches are fully taken into account and dealt with by
educational and professional organizations.
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