We are often asked why we have chosen to offer faith-based treatment for those who are suffering from a co-occurring mental health disorder alongside with a substance abuse use disorder. The answer is simple, spirituality improves our clients chance to achieve enduring sobriety. However, understanding that concept is far from simple.
A recent article by Dr. Simon Dein entitled Religion, Spirituality, and Mental Health helps clarify why spirituality or faith-based principles have a rightful place within the treatment process. In his article, he explains that until the early 19th century, psychiatry and religion were closely connected. Religious institutions were responsible for the care of the mentally ill. As the years passed, religion became associated with hysteria and neurosis, which created a divide between religion and mental health care that has continued until recently. Psychiatry has a long tradition of dismissing and attacking religious experience. Religion has often been seen by mental health professionals in Western societies as irrational, outdated, and dependency forming and has been viewed to result in emotional instability.
Psychiatrists are generally less religious than their patients and, therefore, they have not valued the role of religious factors in helping patients cope with their illnesses. It is only in the past few years that attitudes toward religion have changed among mental health professionals. In 1994, “religious or spiritual problems” was introduced in DSM-IV as a new diagnostic category that invited professionals to respect the patient’s beliefs and rituals.
As a Christian facility, Zion Recovery Center helps patients clarify how Christ’s teachings and principles influence the course to sobriety. We do not attempt to manipulate the client’s beliefs or push them down an unfamiliar path or denomination. Whatever his or her Christian background, Zion’s stance is neutral. We simply assist them in returning to their familiar Christian path that most often then not, they have strayed from. This strategy alongside the incorporation of proven therapeutic approaches gives our clients the best possible chance to live a healthy and sober life.
For more information and to read the entire article by Dr. Simon Dein, click here.