Integrated Spiritual Psychology


Integrated Spiritual Psychology

Majid Ali, M.D.
During an informal conversation about the essentiality of authentic spiritual work in matters of mental health and illness, Amir Ali, Jessy  King, Omar Ali, M.D., and the writer wondered about how the matter could be meaningfully highlighted by psychotherapists and physicians in their clinical work. Amir and Jessy spoke about role of how spirituality in the prevailing psychodynamic, behavioral and other major models in clinical psychology. While Dr. Ali, a cardiologist, and the writer, a surgeon – turned – pathologist –turned – clinical molecular biologist – turned integrationist, tried to look at the issue through the prism of the core concept of integration in medicine. The words spirituality, psychology, and integration came together. A Google search for integrated, spiritual, and psychology failed to reveal any entries with these words in this order. The foursome settled on “integrated spiritual psychology model” as a suitable designation for inviting interested practitioners to join our conversations.

Why introduce yet another model for clinical psychology? For a crucial reason: To put spirituality in the center stage in all deliberations of mental health and illness. We acknowledge the enormous contributions of faith-based programs, Alcoholic Anonymous, Al-Anon, and other such groups. Yet, spirituality hardly gets its due in many other areas where it needs to be at center stage. To make our case, we cite below stats concerning teenage suicide and teenage addiction-related death rates, and then raise our core question.



Teenage Suicide Rates

CDC is considered to be the best government source for health stats reports that from 2007 to 2015, suicide rates doubled among teen girls and by more than 30 percent among teen boys. While the suicide rate fell in 2007—3.7 to 2.4 per 100,000 girls and 18.1 to 10.8 per 100,000 boys—it spiked again in 2015 to 5.1 per 100,000 girls and 14.2 per 100,000 boys 2017.

Teen Drug Overdose Death Rates

In August 2017, CNN reported a 19% increase in rate of death from drug overdose in just one year, from 2014 to 2015.The new number was released by the National Center for Health Statistics and involves teenagers  from 15 to 19. The rate of teen overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids increased sevenfold. 

The Core Question

How might spirituality been mentioned, let alone held at the center stage, during  psychological counseling, of these teenagers in months and years prior to  their demise? That, succinctly stated, is the reason of four of us for proposing the integrated spiritual psychology model.


Suggested Reading and Viewing

For the philosophical underpinnings of the proposed integrated spiritual psychology model, the wrier suggests articles and videos in his series entitled Our Shared African Grandmothers Series. The linked for these learning material are included below. 


Library of Articles and Videos of Our Shared African Grandmother Series



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