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Formulation and treatment: integrating religion and spirituality in clinical practice.

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  • 1Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.


Developing scientifically sound and clinically meaningful case formulations is so challenging that it may verge on becoming a "lost art." Pressures (scientific, economic, and cultural) remain that prevent child and adolescent psychiatrists from getting a complete understanding of the patient and family. Including a strong consideration of data related to religion, spirituality, and worldview may seem only to complicate an already arduous task. The clinician who includes these factors in treatment is faced with decisions of when to discuss these issues, how to discuss them and in what depth, and finally, when to refer to a religious/spiritual professional. Nonetheless, the importance of these factors in the lives of many children and families leaves no option but to address them as directly as possible. It is well worth the effort and, in many cases, will open new areas for clinical improvement in patients.

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