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October 2021

Understanding the religious ideation of forensically committed patients

Journal/Book: Psychotherapy. 1999; 36: 1390 South Dixie Highway, Ste 2222, Coral Gables, FL 33146-2946, USA. Amer Psychological Assoc, Div Psychotherapy. 287-297.

Abstract: Clinicians working with forensically, committed, mentally ill patients are often confronted with a wide variety of religious ideation. This article is designed to help clinicians think therapeutically and psychoanalytically, about such material, with a focus on understanding the latent meanings of religious ideation and its relationship to forensic or precursor issues. Case material and conceptualizations are offered to enhance an understanding of the following functions of religious ideation: (a) religious delusions as motivations for violence; (b) religious distortions as justifications for violence; (c) religions ideas as expressions of intrapsychic dynamics; and (d) authentic religious beliefs as defenses and resources. It is suggested that working directly with religious material can be an avenue to deeper understanding of the patient's psychic life and thus a path toward therapeutic growth and change.

Note: Article Kunst JL, Patton State Hosp, 3102 E Highland Ave, Patton,CA 92369 USA


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