Monday, 28 March 2011

Peter Gilbert (ed) 'Spirituality and Mental Health'

I see that Peter Gilbert, Emeritus Professor of Social Work and Spirituality at Staffordshire University and an excellent dinner companion, has edited a new book called Spirituality and Mental Health. It is described as:

This new work has 23 chapters by a range of distinguished authors in touch with experience , practice and research; and ranges across perspectives from 'the cradle to the grave', and issues around mindfulness, reflective practice, assessing spiritual needs, and a variety of approaches.

Whilst I have some qualms about the recent stress on spirituality in mental health care – I fear a retreat from Enlightenment values but then I am an old atheist – the fact is that many of those involved in this area have interesting, nuanced and sympathetic views of health and illness. The emphasis on spirituality seems to block any temptation towards vulgar reductionism, for example.