The Institute for Spirituality and Health
Exploring the connections between spirituality and health.


Spirited Words

See below for a collection of reflections, writings, essays, poems, and other contributions that the ISH community has submitted over the years. We hope you enjoy.

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Menninger Clinic’s Special Issue: Spirituality of Hope & Healing

By John Graham

January 14th, 2014

ISH’s 22nd Annual Psychotherapy and Faith Conference took place November 15, 2013 and five of the papers presented were published in a special issue of The Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, Vol. 77, No. 4, Fall, 2013.  Excerpts from the articles were highlighted by Jon Allen, PhD and Jim Lomax, MD. 

Jon Allen’s talk, “Hope in human attachment and spiritual connection,” reached back to the early work of Karl Menninger and his colleague, Paul Pruser.  Following their lead, Allen grounded hope in secure attachments and reviewrf recent research linking human attachment relationships to the individual’s relationship with a personal God.

Lisa Miller, from Columbia U, outlined her fifteen years of research with the development of spirituality in adolescents and young adults.  Her finding is that a longstanding ongoing spirituality in young people is “protective” of depression and substance abuse.

Stephen Post’s paper was entitled, “Hope in caring for the deeply forgetful: Enduring selfhood and being open to surprises,” in which he addressed the surprises one may experience in sustaining hope in the context of dementia.  He showed a video of an otherwise non-conversant elderly man who came alive when listening to music with earphones.  Talk about being surprised!  We all were.

Warren Kinghorn of Duke University provided a theological foundation for the construct of hope in psychotherapy.  He reviewed prominent cognitive-behavioral contributions to hope, including evidence of significant health-related benefits of hope.

Kenneth Pargament, the Distinguished Scholar at ISH, presented the concluding paper entitled, “Conversations with Eeyore:  Spirituality and the generation of hope among mental health providers.”  In his talk Pargament held up a mirror to us professionals, calling attention to our own need for hope and its grounding in spirituality.  Pargament said that spirituality (defined as “seeking the sacred”) is a potentially powerful resource for patient and healthcare provider alike.

If you can get a copy of this issue of the Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, Vol 77, No. 4 (Fall, 2013), I believe you will be blessed.  The issue may be available through Guilford Publications, 72 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012.  See below.

Sara Moore