Many health problems arise from emotional and spiritual suffering and need to be addressed at a deeper level than technology and medications. Research findings and clinical experience increasingly reveal that spiritual factors have a significant part to play in recovery from illness. Dr. Andrew Powell, a UK psychiatrist, has been deeply engaged in integrating spirituality into mental healthcare. His two most recent books on this topic are compelling, articulate, and inspiring. I’m enjoying the read–and the feeling of his warm heart that shines through his impeccable research.
Powell, Andrew (2019). The Ways of the Soul: A Psychiatrist Reflects: Essays on Life, Death and Beyond. UK:Aeon Books
Powell, Andrew (2018). Conversations with the Soul: A Psychiatrist Reflects – Essays on Life, Death and Beyond. UK: Aeon Books.
‘Andrew Powell has succeeded in honouring the spiritual dimension of the psyche as fundamental to psychiatric and psychotherapeutic treatment. He does this in a very human way that is easy to relate to and understand. This is an important step in refocussing clinical treatment on a more balanced and whole approach. Highly recommended’. -Dr Nigel Hamilton, Director, the Centre for Counselling and Psychotherapy Education, UK.
Dr. Powell and the Janki Foundation
Dr. Powell is Founding Chair of the Spirituality and Psychiatry Special Interest Group of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK (www.rcpsych.ac.uk/spirit). Prior to publication of the two books mentioned above, Dr. Powell was co-editor of ‘Spirituality and Psychiatry’ (RCPsych Publications, 2009) and ‘Spirituality and Narrative in Clinical Psychiatry’ (RCPsych Publications, 2016). He is also a scientific and medical advisor to the Janki Foundation.
Launched in December 1997 at the Royal College of Physicians, London, the Janki Foundation’s premise is that better understanding of spiritual factors in health can benefit both patient and practitioner by promoting healing, reducing stress and staff fatigue and raising morale.
The Janki Foundation’s original primary objective was to support the work of the Global Hospital and Research Centre (GHRC) in Mt Abu, India. The hospital is pioneering a healthcare model which combines the best of modern medicine with complementary approaches and spirituality. It provides essential services in an area where there is an acute shortage of healthcare – free consultation to all, while those unable to pay (three fifths of the total) also receive free treatment. The hospital website www.ghrc-abu.com gives further details including ongoing projects and new services.
The Foundation continues to provide extensive support for this work. Under the guidance of Dadi Janki, its former President (now deceased), it also extended its remit to include values-based educational initiatives within the healthcare sector worldwide. In September 2004 it launched Values in Healthcare: a spiritual approach, a personal and team development programme for healthcare practitioners now used in more than 30 countries.