Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Marianne Miserandino

Abstract

Religion and Spirituality are prevalent in and essential to one’s identity. This thesis seeks to answer the question what beneficial roles can the sacred play in mental illness? Believing in the sacred can provide additional support to those with a mental illness through a process called sacred coping. One’s sacred beliefs can be incorporated into previously established interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to provide a more tailored treatment option. In some cases, these interventions are more beneficial than traditional interventions. Barriers to the topic of acknowledging the sacred in relation to one’s mental illness include the decline in having sacred beliefs, and the discomfort doctors feel in initiating a conversation about the sacred. Most research focuses on Caucasians with a Christian affiliation, so more diverse research is necessary to better understand the universal beneficial roles the sacred can play in mental illness. Society needs to become more comfortable talking about the sacred. This comfort could lead to more sacred incorporated interventions that can be more beneficial to people with a mental illness.

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Beneficial Roles the Sacred Can Play in Mental Illness

Religion and Spirituality are prevalent in and essential to one’s identity. This thesis seeks to answer the question what beneficial roles can the sacred play in mental illness? Believing in the sacred can provide additional support to those with a mental illness through a process called sacred coping. One’s sacred beliefs can be incorporated into previously established interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), to provide a more tailored treatment option. In some cases, these interventions are more beneficial than traditional interventions. Barriers to the topic of acknowledging the sacred in relation to one’s mental illness include the decline in having sacred beliefs, and the discomfort doctors feel in initiating a conversation about the sacred. Most research focuses on Caucasians with a Christian affiliation, so more diverse research is necessary to better understand the universal beneficial roles the sacred can play in mental illness. Society needs to become more comfortable talking about the sacred. This comfort could lead to more sacred incorporated interventions that can be more beneficial to people with a mental illness.

 
 

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