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Psychology of Spirituality: An Introduction

by Larry Culliford Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Pub Date:
Pbk 256 pages
AU$33.99 NZ$34.77
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Spirituality is increasingly accepted as integral to human psychology, vital for physical and mental health.

The Psychology of Spirituality is an accessible book that introduces the relationship between spirituality and psychology. The author sets out what spirituality is, the values it represents and how it can contribute to mental health and wellbeing. He then illustrates how knowledge of spirituality can provide a deeper understanding of people’s problems and can help them develop resilience and aid recovery. With reference to a new holistic or ‘psycho-spiritual’ paradigm, the book then covers stages of spiritual development: from having natural spiritual awareness in early childhood to the waning of interest in later childhood; largely conforming to group mentality in adolescence before discovering individuality; and then the final journey towards full personal and emotional maturity. Finally, the author outlines practical advice on how to explore and make use of spirituality, covering a range of spiritual skills and practices, including meditation and contemplation. Each chapter includes case examples and exercises to explore the ideas covered.

This book will be compelling reading for psychologists, psychiatrists, chaplains, healthcare professionals, students, and anyone wanting to understand better the role of spirituality and psychology in the lives of all.

Preface. Part 1. Themes and Variations: 'What Goes Round Comes Around'. 1. Introduction. 2. Themes and Variations. 3. The Relevance of Spirituality. 4. The Literature on Psychology and Spirituality. 5. Paradigm Shift. Part 2. Stages of Faith: 'Something Happens'. 6. Introduction to Part 2. 7. Childhood Spirituality. 8. Belonging. 9. Searching and Re-Integration. 10. Homecoming. Part 3. Remedies: 'Sowing Seeds and Doing Good Deeds'. 11. Spiritual Skills.12. Spiritual Practices. Appendix 1. Taking a Spiritual History. Appendix 2. Further Reading. Index.

“Dr. Culliford has written a magnificent book that is both erudite and beguilingly accessible. The person on the spiritual quest, whether from a traditionally religious or from a more secular perspective, will gain insights and hope between the covers of this work. The continuing disputes between science and spirituality are explored and, ultimately, integrated and the reader will emerge enlightened and enlivened”
- Professor Patricia Casey, Professor of Psychiatry, University College Dublin, Ireland

'This groundbreaking book is a welcome insight into the fundamental link between spirituality and psychology. I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone wishing to gain a deeper understanding of this connection and how spirituality can help enhance psychological wellbeing.'
- Dr. Harold G. Koenig, Director, Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, USA

'What exactly is the relationship between spirituality and psychology? Larry Culliford presents a clear, honest and enlightening exploration of the relationship between spirituality and psychology; an account which takes seriously the integrity of both but refuses to allow one to collapse into the other. This book will be valuable for practitioners and all those who are seeking new ways of helping people to see and understand the significance of the spiritual in their practises of care.'
- Reverend Professor John Swinton, Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, University of Aberdeen, UK
Dr. Larry Culliford is a psychiatrist, lecturer and author. Larry co-founded the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group, and he is currently Chair of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Larry refers to himself as a universalist Christian. A churchgoing Anglican, he is open to the teachings and practices of many world faith traditions, having studied with Buddhist teachers, and has meditated regularly for more than 25 years.