Religion and Mental Health

Religion and Mental Health

Research and Clinical Applications

1st Edition - March 13, 2018

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  • Author: Harold Koenig
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128112823
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128112830

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Religion and Mental Health: Research and Clinical Applications summarizes research on how religion may help people better cope or exacerbate their stress, covering its relationship to depression, anxiety, suicide, substance abuse, well-being, happiness, life satisfaction, optimism, generosity, gratitude and meaning and purpose in life. The book looks across religions and specific faiths, as well as to spirituality for those who don’t ascribe to a specific religion. It integrates research findings with best practices for treating mental health disorders for religious clients, also covering religious beliefs and practices as part of therapy to treat depression and posttraumatic stress disorder.

Key Features

  • Summarizes research findings on the relationship of religion to mental health
  • Investigates religion’s positive and negative influence on coping
  • Presents common findings across religions and specific faiths
  • Identifies how these findings inform clinical practice interventions
  • Describes how to use religious practices and beliefs as part of therapy


Researchers and practitioners in clinical psychology

Table of Contents

  • Part I. The Past and the Present
    1. Historical background
    2. Religion and coping
    3. Religion and negative emotions
    4. Religion and positive emotions

    Part II. Specific Religions and Mental Health
    5. Protestant Christianity
    6. Catholic Christianity
    7. Judaism
    8. Islam
    9. Hinduism and Buddhism
    10. Spiritual but not religious

    Part III. Clinical Applications
    11. Applications in clinical practice
    12. Evidence-based religious psychotherapies
    13. Conclusions and recommendations

Product details

  • No. of pages: 384
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2018
  • Published: March 13, 2018
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128112823
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128112830

About the Author

Harold Koenig

Harold Koenig completed his undergraduate education at Stanford University, nursing school at San Joaquin Delta College, medical school training at the University of California at San Francisco, and geriatric medicine, psychiatry, and biostatistics training at Duke University Medical Center. He is on the faculty at Duke as Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Associate Professor of Medicine. He is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Health at Ningxia Medical University, Yinchuan, People’s Republic of China. Dr. Koenig is Director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health at Duke University Medical Center, and has published extensively in the fields of mental health, geriatrics, and religion, with over 500 scientific peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and nearly 50 books in print or preparation. His research on religion, health and ethical issues in medicine has been featured on dozens of national and international TV news programs, over a hundred national or international radio programs, and hundreds of newspapers and magazines. Dr. Koenig has given testimony before the U.S. Senate (1998) and U.S. House of Representatives (2008) concerning the benefits of religion and spirituality on public health, and travels widely to give seminars and workshops on this topic. He is the recipient of the 2012 Oskar Pfister Award from the American Psychiatric Association and the 2013 Gary Collins Award from the American Association of Christian Counselors.

Affiliations and Expertise

Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA

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  • Tom M. Wed May 05 2021

    An Important Resource

    I stumbled upon this book while researching a dissertation and was stunned by the wide-ranging overview of relevant literature in one volume. Koenig has a positive view of the role of religion (backed up by the research he is exploring), though he's honest and forthright when the data undermines the 'religion is good for you' argument. Turns out there are many subtleties associated with the matter (race, class, nature of religious belief and practice, the religion one is part of--or not, etc.). It's all grist for the mill in a fine book for the professional or the student interested in the practical intersection of religion and religious faith/spirituality.