In his review, Donahue (1) found many studies which show generally positive relationships between religion and both mental and physical health.In particular, regular religious practices (as opposed to specific beliefs) such as church or synagogue attendance, prayer and scripture reading, have been shown to be related to positive mental and physical health.
In his review, Donahue (1) found many studies which show generally positive relationships between religion and both mental and physical health.
Autobiographies are presented in turn by group members during sessions and help to identify and begin discussion of relevant themes and issues.
The group focuses on the discussion of key theological and existential issues.
However, research also indicates that battered women attend religious services less frequently than maritally distressed controls (3).
This finding is consistent with research related to combat veterans which suggests that those experiencing psychiatric problems or PTSD attend religious services less frenquently than controls (4).
Discussion of sensitive and delicate issues must allow for wide ranging differences in attitudes and beliefs.
Thus maintaining a tone of interest in and mutual respect for the views of others is a necessity.To date we have studied the responses of about 100 patients to the 14 item Age Universal Religious Orientation Scale (5). Vietnam combat veterans with PTSD score lower than average on measures of religious orientation (6).It also suggests that they are less likely to use religion as a way of getting social support when they need it.How can belief in a loving, all-powerful God be sustained when the innocent are subjected to traumatic victimization?In a recent study (2) it was suggested that religiously committed women who are battered suffer less severe PTSD symptoms than women without such commitment.This highlights key experiences and decisions which were made regarding their religious faith and describes the context in which they occurred.This exercise allows patients to clarify and see more objectively their current religious beliefs and practices and reflect on directions they would like to pursue.While I was growing up, I attended church or religious services: ( A variety of spiritually based activities are possible: a spiritual autobiography, discussion of key existential issues, silent prayer and meditation, guided imagery, practice in religious ritual, use of selected readings, ad attendance at religious services.Patients are asked prior to group to write a description of their spiritual journey from childhood to the present.Traumatic events often lead to dramatic change in survivors' world views so that fundamental assumptions about meaningfulness, goodness, and safety shift negatively.For those whose core values are theologically founded, traumatic events often give rise to questions about the fundamental nature of the relationship between the Creator and humankind.