We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Research & business

View Profile

Publication details

Cook, Christopher C.H. (2015). Religion and Spirituality in Clinical Practice. BJPsych Advances 21(1): 42-50.

Author(s) from Durham


Spirituality and religion have assumed importance in psychiatric practice in recent years because of both a growing evidence base and the desire of patients that such matters should be better addressed as an aspect of their care. However, there has been controversy regarding interpretation of the evidence base and issues of good practice, notably about defining appropriate professional boundaries. A sensitive and patient-focused clinical enquiry is therefore needed to discover whether and how spiritual/religious concerns are important to patients and, if they are, how they might most appropriately be addressed in treatment. Many of the concerns of patients and professionals regarding spirituality overlap with the recovery agenda and so are easily addressed implicitly and without need to impose the language of spirituality or religion. However, for some patients, transcendent concerns that are not a part of this agenda are easily overlooked.