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

Spirituality, Health, & Complex Group Behavior



ISH conducts ethnographic studies across populations in Houston and the United States as a way to help us better understand contemporary perspectives and needs around spirituality, health, and healing.  Among these endeavors, ISH is currently executing a national ethnography to help deepen an understanding of the psycho-spiritual aspects of group dynamics throughout our society at the social, organizational, family, community, and college and university levels. 

Like all of its ethnographic work, ISH engages research and inquiry with a mission: to listen, heal, and hold a sacred space.  This is particularly important within what many individuals are describing as a fractured national political and social climate.  ISH creates ethnography both as a serious research endeavor, and as an act of service.  

As part of this particular study, we are conducting in-depth interviews and focus groups with Thought Leaders, Community Leaders, group leaders, parents, and young adults throughout the country.  Areas of inquiry include:

The ethnography is designed to gain new insights through personal narratives, rather than test a hypothesis.  For example, through careful listening, we will learn how contemporary society talks about these issues – the words they use, and the words they may avoid – as a way to garner insight around a that reflects the dynamics around what is actually transpiring in society today.

This also lends itself to the goals of listening with reverence, and being open to unanticipated information. ISH will approach the phenomenon as part of a larger story of the human journey.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about this project, please contact Susana McCollom at or directly at 202.257.2311.