Aging and God : Spiritual Pathways to Mental Health in Midlife and Later Years book cover
1st Edition

Aging and God
Spiritual Pathways to Mental Health in Midlife and Later Years

ISBN 9781560244240
Published September 7, 1994 by Routledge
572 Pages

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Book Description

This important book examines the relationship between religion and mental health throughout the life cycle, with a special emphasis on later life. It asserts that successful aging is possible regardless of physical health or environmental circumstances, and that religious beliefs and behaviors may facilitate successful aging. Aging and God thoroughly examines the effects of religion and mental health on aging and provides a centralized resource of up-to-date references of research in the field. It focuses on recent findings, theoretical issues, and implications for clinical practice and contains ideas for further research. In Aging and God, you’ll also find information on project design that can help you develop grant applications and carry out studies.

Aging and God is a helpful book for both mental health and religious professionals. It helps mental health specialists better understand the spiritual needs of older adults and the impact that religion can have on facilitating mental health. It also describes how religion can be utilized in clinical practice and integrated into psychotherapeutic approaches to older patients. The book brings religious professionals current knowledge of the major psychological problems that older adults face and how religion can be used to help alleviate these problems.

Full of pertinent information, Aging and God

  • addresses theoretical aspects of human development, focusing on cognitive, moral, and religious faith development
  • examines situations and disorders of particular concern to older persons and looks at how religion can be used as a resource
  •  applies research findings to the problem of meeting the spiritual and mental health needs of elders with chronic or acute health problems
  • provides an in-depth look at end-of-life issues such as physician-assisted suicide

    Hospital and nursing home chaplains will find this book informative and encouraging, as will gerontologists, hospital administrators, and community clergy faced with increasingly older congregations. It gives mental health professionals new strategies to help improve the later years of older adults, and makes an excellent text for courses on religion, mental health, and aging. Middle-aged and older adults, as well as their families, will also find Aging and God enjoyable and inspiring as they attempt to grapple with the myriad adjustment and coping problems associated with aging.

Table of Contents

Contents Foreword

  • Preface
  • Part I. Religion and the Mental Sciences
  • The History of Psychiatry and Religion
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Conflicting Approaches to Mental Health
  • Overlap and Complementarity
  • Part II. Theoretical Issues
  • Theories of Human Development
  • Fowler’s Stages of Faith Development
  • A Theory of Religious Faith Development
  • Part III. Advances in Research
  • Depression and Medical Illness
  • Using Religion to Cope
  • Cases of Religious Coping in Action
  • Religious Coping and Depression
  • Religion and Anxiety
  • Part IV. Clinical Applications
  • Spiritual Needs of Physically Ill Elders
  • Meeting Psychological and Spiritual Needs
  • Use of Religion in Psychotherapy
  • V. Special Concerns in Later Life
  • The Nursing Home and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Alcoholism/Sexual Dysfunction
  • The Family and Bereavement Issues
  • Religious Conversion
  • VI. The Final Frontier
  •  Hope for the Dying
  • Suicide in Later Life
  • Physician-Assisted Suicide
  • Final Comments
  • Indexes
  • Reference Notes Included

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