Understanding the religious ideation of forensically committed patients

ArticleinPsychotherapy Theory Research & Practice 36(3):287-297 · January 1999with12 Reads
Impact Factor: 3.01 · DOI: 10.1037/h0087835


    Provides help for clinicians working with forensically committed, mentally ill patients. The article is designed to help clinicians to think therapeutically and psychoanalytically about a wide variety of religious ideation often found in such patients. 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) religious ideas as expressions of intrapsychic dynamics; and (d) authentic religious beliefs as defenses and resources. The article suggests 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. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)