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Bronwyn Castell

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2014
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Missing Pieces? Considering Religion and Spirituality in Mental Health Care

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

A substantial proportion of mental health service users hold religious or spiritual (R/S) beliefs. It is generally accepted that effective care includes the consideration of these beliefs. However, authors often state that these are neglected and minimised by mental health practitioners. Ms Castell found that just under half of New Zealand participants who identified as R/S had discussed these beliefs with their mental health practitioner and were satisfied with the way their beliefs were considered. Amongst an international sample, several factors (such as client-practitioner matching and client expectations) predicted the extent to which clients’ R/S beliefs were discussed and considered, and clients’ satisfaction with this. The findings suggest it may be beneficial for practitioners to seek awareness of clients’ R/S beliefs, to understand their relevance, and to take collaborative action. Ms Castell also outlined steps that clients could take to improve consideration of their R/S beliefs.

Dr Dianne Gardner
Associate Professor Paul Merrick
Dr Bev Haarhoff

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