Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.
How does a minority traditional culture confront changing values in
the larger society? More specifically, how does a cohesive, scripture-based
religious group respond to modern psychology? These are issues addressed in
Eric G. Swedin's Healing Souls: Psychotherapy in the Latter-Day
Saint Community, a thought-provoking book detailing the reaction of
Latter-Day Saint (LDS) church authority and Mormon therapists to mainstream
Healing Souls transforms our image of conservative
religion meeting psychiatry from that of two monolithic forces clashing to
what it actually is—an idiosyncratic process of adoption, adaptation,
and rejection, which is to some degree unique to each believer. Such a paradigm
change could benefit mental health providers working with religious patients
everywhere. The book also provides crucial insights into the underlying value
systems of modern psychotherapies. The title, however, is somewhat misleading.
While one might assume the book chiefly offers information on specific psychotherapies
in use by LDS therapists, only a handful of such therapies are discussed in
chapter 5. The work is actually a history that chronicles the response of
Mormonism to modern psychology.
Dew RE, Koenig HG. Psychotherapy, Religion. JAMA. 2004;291(18):2260-2261. doi:10.1001/jama.291.18.2260-b