Engaging theological research with clinical practice

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Project News

Saturday, 5th November 2016‘Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday’ exhibition

We are delighted to announce the opening of Hearing Voices: suffering, inspiration and the everyday and the launch of a website specifically devoted to the exhibition:

http://hearingvoicesdu.org

The website is rich with resources on voice-hearing and Hearing the Voice research, and is divided into a number of different sections or pages to match the different parts of the exhibition. These are:

In addition to images of some of the key displays, it contains the six podcasts that have been specially produced by Andrea Rangecroft for the exhibition. It also showcases the everyday voices audio, links to a number of articles written by HtV researchers, and three prezis exploring the science of voice-hearing (one on voices and inner speech, one on what’s happening in the brain, and one on felt presence). There are also links to the HtV main site and, more specifically, support information.

The website will grow over the course of the exhibition.

Several pages might be of particular interest to you. For the English department, for example, this might be the Literary Voices section and the Visionary Voices section. For Psychology, it might be the section on Everyday Voices, which contains the prezis on the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underly voice-hearing.

If you wish to follow the exhibition on social media, look for the #HearingVoicesDU hashtag.

Sunday, 15th May 2016Spirituality, Theology and Mental Health
edited by Christopher Cook

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Editor: Christopher Cook

ISBN-13: 9780334046264

ISBN-10: 0334046262

Publisher: SCM Press

Format: Paperback

RRP: WAS £45.00 / NOW ONLY £36.00 (order now by clicking here)

Publish date: 31/05/2013

Flyer: You can view the book’s flyer by clicking here

 

A few words about the book:

In 2010 a Durham conference on Spirituality, Theology & Mental Health was made possible by support from the Guild of Health. The conference was attended by more than one hundred delegates, from a variety of different professional and academic backgrounds including those working in university departments of theology, anthropology and philosophy, as well as chaplains, clergy and healthcare professionals. The present publication comprises a series of chapters by authors, all of whom presented papers at the conference. It is thus informed by the debate that took place at the conference, but it is more than simply a set of conference proceedings. The aim has been to create a book with multi-disciplinary and multi-professional contributions which show the relevance of theology to healthcare today, and which will provide a resource for postgraduate teaching, research and professional practice.

 

This book provides reflections from leading international scholars and practitioners in theology, anthropology, philosophy and psychiatry as to the nature of spirituality and its relevance to constructions of mental disorder and mental healthcare. Key issues are explored in depth, including the nature of spirituality and recent debates concerning its importance in contemporary psychiatric practice, relationship between demons and wellbeing in ancient religious texts and contemporary practice, religious conversion, and the nature and importance of myth and theology in shaping human self understanding. These are used as a basis for exploring some of the overarching intellectual and practical issues that arise when different disciplines engage together with an attempt to better understand the relationship between spirituality and mental health and translate their findings into mental healthcare practice.

 

Are you still unsure why buy this book?

Here are two Commendations by Professors Harold G. Koenig and Sheila the Baroness Hollins

 

Professors Harold G. Koenig:

Scientists and clinicians will find in this book contributions from theology, philosophy and pastoral practice that will give them new insights into the importance of spirituality in mental healthcare. Theological and inter-disciplinary perspectives offered here help all of us to see things differently. This book is commended to all mental health professionals, chaplains and pastoral carers, and academics wanting a broader perspective on spirituality and mental health.

 

Professor Sheila the Baroness Hollins:

Theology and Mental health will be essential reading for clergy, health professionals and academics from different disciplines who are learning, talking and working together in the hope of better addressing the place of spirituality in mental health care. It’s a fascinating book that’s integrative of spiritual and theological perspectives with clinical and pastoral care, importantly introducing theology into a debate that has largely ignored a contribution from this discipline. Many of the writers explore the boundaries that sometimes separate different domains of expertise and differing values and assumptions in diverse settings.

 

Order the book here:

http://www.scmpress.co.uk/books/9780334046264/Theology-Spirituality-and-Mental-Health

 

Spirituality, Theology and Mental Health by C.Cook

Friday, 22nd April 2016‘Hallucinations and Spiritual Experience:
Voices, Visions and Revelation’ conference

Friday 25 November 2016 (10:00 – 16:30) @ RCPsych (London, UK)
Royal College of Psychiatrists

£100 standard rate | £50 reduced rate (trainees, retired members, subsidised)

 

CPD: 

5 CPD hours, subject to peer group review

 

AUDIENCE:

This meeting is open to all members of the College and non-members (both of which can book online). It will be especially relevant to psychiatrists, students, trainees, chaplains, spiritual directors, academics and researchers interested in spiritual and religious experiences.

 

BOOK ONLINE:

Booking will open shortly.

Please read the cancellation policy before making your booking.

Non-members can also book online – after clicking the ‘book online now’ button there is an option to create a new account if you’ve not done so before.

 

PROGRAMME OUTLINE:

Unusual perceptual phenomena, including visual and auditory hallucinations, have been associated with spiritual and religious experiences since ancient times. Since hallucinations associated with major psychiatric disorders not infrequently include spiritual and/or religious content, this has led psychiatrists to take a reductionist approach that treats all such anomalous experiences as pathology and likely to be indicative of mental illness. However, research shows that many people who experience anomalous perception should not be diagnosed as mentally ill and are not in need of mental health services. For some, such experiences serve to enrich and enhance their sense of life purpose.

This day conference will bring together recent scientific research on hallucinations with spiritual and religious perspectives. Mental health professionals need to be aware of alternative frameworks for making sense of anomalous perceptual experiences, with important implications for both clinical practice and the spiritual life.

 

 

CONFERENCE ENQUIRIES:

Emma Jacobson, telephone: 020 3701 2524.

 

 

Thursday, 21st April 2016Our MA/MSc programme in Spirituality, Theology & Health as a possible intercalated degree for undergraduate medical students

We would like to draw to your attention our MA/MSc programme in Spirituality, Theology & Health as a possible intercalated degree for undergraduate medical students. This programme is unique in its provision of inter-disciplinary engagement between theology and health sciences and related inter-professional contact. The programme has been running for 4 years now for graduate students and we accepted our first intercalated student last year. She recently graduated with a distinction.

 

If you are interested, please click HERE for further information on the programme and the application process.

 

We would be grateful if you could circulate details of this programme to anyone who may be interested. If they would like to consider this programme further, they should get in touch with Professor Chris Cook (c.c.h.cook@durham.ac.uk), as programme director, or Susan Tait, our postgraduate admissions secretary (theo.pgadmissions@durham.ac.uk), who will be able to provide further information.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Thursday, 21st April 2016Spirituality and Narrative in Psychiatric Practice
by C.Cook, A.Powell & A.Sims

For mental health service users, spirituality and faith are closely connected with questions of relationship, transcendence, and finding meaning and purpose in life – questions best approached by way of narrative (or story).

In clinical practice, narrative can provide a means of exploring the ethical and professional dilemmas that are encountered when spiritual and/or religious concerns are in evidence. Narrative has been recognised as important in both medicine and theology, and now it can be employed as a framework for addressing spirituality and religion in clinical psychiatric practice, encompassing addictions, liaison and forensic psychiatry, and spanning all ages and cultures.

  • Breaks new ground in using a narrative to explore the importance and challenge of spirituality in clinical psychiatric practice.
  • Includes narrative excerpts and case illustrations to show how spiritual concerns can be included in a range of psychiatric treatment options.
  • Provides a tool for exploring the ethical and professional dilemmas spirituality still raises in mental healthcare.
  • Presents contributions from patients, chaplains, and leading psychiatrists and clinical psychologists.

 

Click on the links below to:

 

READERSHIP:

All psychiatrists and mental health professionals. Plus of interest to anyone interested in the effect of religion/spirituality upon mental health, e.g. hospital chaplains.

 

ABOUT THE EDITORS:

Prof. Christopher C.H. Cook – Professor of Spirituality, Theology & Health, Durham University; Honorary Minor Canon at Durham Cathedral; and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Andrew Powell – Formerly: Consultant Psychotherapist and Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, St. George’s Hospital and University of London and Consultant Psychotherapist and Honorary Senior Lecturer, the Warneford Hospital and University of Oxford.

Prof. Andrew Sims – Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, University of Leeds and former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (1990-93).

 

CONTENTS:

Foreword

Preface

  1. Narrative in psychiatry, theology and spirituality
  2. Spirituality and transcultural narratives
  3. Psychopathology and the clinical story
  4. Helping patients tell their story: narratives of body, mind and soul
  5. Gods lost and found: spiritual coping in clinical practice
  6. Stories of joy and sorrow: spirituality and affective disorder
  7. Stories of fear: spirituality and anxiety disorders
  8. Stories of transgression: narrative therapy with offenders
  9. Narratives of transformation in psychosis
  10. My story: a spiritual narrative
  11. God’s story revealed in the human story
  12. Meaning without ‘believing’: attachment theory, mentalisation and the spiritual dimension of analytical psychotherapy
  13. Stories of living with loss: spirituality and ageing
  14. Beginnings and endings

 

Spirituality & Narrative in Psychiatric Practice (Cover)

 

Saturday, 23rd March 2013Applications are now being accepted for our
MA Programme in Spirituality, Theology & Health
for the academic year 2016-2017

Entry to our MA programme 2016-2017 in Spirituality, Theology & Health is still possible for the academic year 2016-2017. This programme provides a unique opportunity for inter-disciplinary and inter-professional study in this field. They form a good basis both for theological reflection on professional practice and also an introduction to research methods for those who are thinking of working towards a PhD or DThM. They can be pursued part-time or full-time.

 

To quote one of our students:

Every trip to St John’s College, Durham is eagerly undertaken; not just because Durham is such a fantastic city with a fascinating history and heritage, but because the teaching on the course is to such a high standard, with immensely knowledgeable lecturers who are obviously keen to impart that knowledge and to engage in meaningful debates with the students.

 

Applications and enquiries from prospective students are always welcomed. For further information, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Secretary in the Department of Theology and Religion, Mrs Susan Tait (e-mail: susan.tait@durham.ac.uk).

 

Alternatively, you can contact one of the members of Academic Staff to discuss potential thesis topics.

 

To find out more please click on the Courses tab above, download the Spirituality, Theology & Health MA Flyer, and visit the Department of Theology & Religion website:

 

Spirituality, Theology & Health

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Monday, 15th June 2009Spirituality & Psychiatry

Eds. Chris Cook, Andrew Powell, Andrew Sims, Royal College of Psychiatrists Press, London, 2009

Spirituality and PsychiatrySpirituality & Psychiatry is a new book published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Emerging from the work of the Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, it considers the relevance of spirituality to clinical practice in psychiatry. It is edited by Chris Cook (current Chair of the Special Interest Group and Director of the Project for Spirituality, Theology & Health at Durham University) along with two past Chairs of the Special Interest Group (Dr Andrew Powell and Professor Andrew Sims). Further information, and the opportunity to purchase the book, is available from the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ website.