The limits of psychiatry

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7352.1523 (Published 22 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1523

Psychospirituality will benefit heathcare staff

  1. Larry Culliford (Larry.Culliford@southdowns.nhs.uk), consultant psychiatrist
  1. Brighton Community Mental Health Centre, Brighton BN1 3RJ
  2. Springfield Hospital, London SW17 7DJ

    EDITOR—Double's paper is thought provoking.1 He may like to know of initiatives aimed, at least in part, at bringing about a synthesis of psychiatry and antipsychiatry. This is in terms of human spirituality.

    For the past two years there has been a spirituality and psychiatry special interest group within the Royal College of Psychiatrists (www.rcpsych.ac.uk/college/SIG/spirit), whose membership now stands at close to 500. Spirituality is the forgotten dimension, not only of mental health care 2 3 but also of general health care.4 In the group we seek to clarify the meaning of spirituality, defined by Murray and Zentner as “a quality that goes beyond religious affiliation, that strives for inspiration, reverence, awe, meaning and purpose, even in those who do not believe in God. The spiritual dimension tries to be in harmony with the universe, strives for answers about the infinite, and comes essentially into focus in times of emotional stress, physical (and mental) illness, loss, …

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