In The Spirit of Psychotherapy, Holmes considers whether the principles which underpin religion can be applied to the largely secular world of psychotherapy.
Having a belief system is generally associated with good physical and mental health. The prime focus of psychotherapy theory and practice is intrapersonal and interpersonal, but these are nested in an often-unexamined supra-personal context, sociological, ecological and spiritual. Structured around a qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with people from a wide range of faith backgrounds, Holmes presents the role belief and spirituality play in everyday lives.
From these interviews, the author identifies core themes such as attachment and hope, frameworks of meaning, and rhythm and ritual. Individual chapters are devoted to detailed descriptions of these themes, while drawing parallels and implications for psychotherapy.
1. Introduction and overview
2. The inner world
3. The spiritual life-cycle
4. Awe and supra-personal experience
5. Attachment and inner presence
6. Frameworks of meaning
7. Right action
9. Ritual and rhythm
10. The idea of the sacred
11. Psychotherapy as secular spirituality
Professor Jeremy Holmes MD was formerly Consultant Psychiatrist/Medical Psychotherapist at University College London (UCL) and Chair of the Psychotherapy Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. His books include John Bowlby and Attachment Theory and The Brain Has a Mind of its Own (Confer Books, 2020)