Working with spiritual issues of adults in clinical practice

C. Paul Yang, David Lukoff, Francis G Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Clinicians increasingly acknowledge that they need to take patients' spiritual lives and experiences into account, yet few have been trained in assessing or working with spiritual issues. The importance of understanding religious and spiritual problems and of developing effective treatment approaches is recognized as a core competency of psychiatric practice. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Heathcare Organizations mandates the routine assessment of spiritual needs and that the spiritual component of a person's life be considered in healthcare. Explicit and nonjudgmental attention to religious and spiritual concerns can add significantly to the quality and effectiveness of clinical work. In addition, clinicians should familiarize themselves with literature on various spiritual problems and therapeutic approaches. They may also choose to adopt individual spiritual practices or undergo spiritually oriented psychotherapy. Such experiences are likely to foster cultural sensitivity to spiritual issues and enhance competence in guiding patients and families through their experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-174
Number of pages7
JournalPsychiatric Annals
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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