Sarajane Aris, Hilary Garraway, Hannah Gilbert

Mental Health, Spirituality and Well-being: A Handbook for Health and Social Care Professionals, Service Users and Carers


A ground-breaking handbook exploring the nature of spirituality and its relevance to the mental health and well-being of people coming into contact with health, social care, education and allied support services. Particularly relevant in these covid-19 times, it incorporates the perspectives and experience of over 35 leading academics and practitioners in the field.



This ground-breaking handbook explores the nature of spirituality and its relevance to the mental health and well-being of people coming into contact with health, social care, education and allied support services. Incorporating the perspectives and experience of over 35 leading academics and practitioners in the field, the book offers a practical guide that includes the contemporary context, details of relevant demonstration projects and therapeutic interventions, and issues for services, staff, managers, leaders and trainers. Opportunities for reflection and practice pointers and offered throughout. The book pays due attention to the current climate of the covid-19 pandemic and the trauma and mental health needs linked to it (both for patients and staff), black and minority ethnic and trans-gender issues, and the voice of mental health experts by experience. Organized into thematic sections, it offers an update to previous publications in the field, including a consideration of spirituality and the new landscape going forwards.


Sarajane Aris is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She mentors both women leaders across the world in the not for profit sector and clinical psychologists across the career span. She is a committee member for both the British Psychological Society’s Leadership and Management Faculty for the Division of Clinical Psychology, and the Political Psychology Section.  Sarajane was the national lead for Spirituality for the British Psychological Society (2002-2010), and the psychology representative on the National Mental Health and Spirituality Forum during this time. She was responsible for setting up Derbyshire Mental Healthcare Foundation Trusts Spirituality Strategy and Steering Group (2009-11)) and founded the Transpersonal Network for Clinical and Counselling Psychologists and therapists in the UK (1997-2011). She was Head of Adult Psychology Services for Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust for 10 years and Director of Policy for the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical psychology (2012/13).  She has worked within the NHS for over 40 years. Sarajane has contributed various chapters to books and articles on leadership, consciousness, and spirituality in mental health, amongst others. Her life is informed by the principles of love, compassion, wisdom and truth, and a wish to serve and collaborate with whomever she connects with.


Dr Hilary Garraway is an experienced consultant clinical psychologist with over thirty years of therapy experience in various settings. She is currently the Enfield Adult Psychology lead in Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust. Previously, Hilary specialised in Early Intervention in Psychosis helping to establish the Barking and Dagenham team and then moving on to work in Waltham Forest and then Enfield EIS teams, as well as having a successful private practice. Hilary has trained as an adult education teacher and is a BABCP accredited CBT therapist, trainer and supervisor. Hilary is an honorary lecturer with UCL, Kings College London and Hertfordshire University and teaches on spirituality and psychology, psychosis and CBT.  She is a trustee of the Whole Person Health Trust which seeks to promote a more holistic approach to medical care. She is trained as a spiritual director and has an interest in contemplative spirituality, as well as in creative and therapeutic writing.


Dr Hannah Gilbert, PhD has a BA (Hons) in Anthropology from Durham University, and a PhD in Sociology from the University of York. Her doctoral thesis explore spiritual experiences within the British spirit medium community. She also has an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy & Counselling from the University of Derby, and now works as a psychotherapist. She is also the Charity Development Officer for the Compassionate Mind Foundation.


Publisher: Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd

Publication Date: End of October 2021

ISBN: 978-1-914010-62-0


Brief Table of Contents

Introduction (Where are we now?)

  1. Introduction
  2. Integrating Spirituality into Mental Health Services
  3. African Psychology & Spiritness in Twin Pandemics
  4. Finding Meaning and Purpose in a Covid World

Across the Life Cycle

  1. Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Spirituality
  2. Spirituality in an Older Generation
  3. The Need for Spirituality in the Dying Process

Therapeutic Practice

  1. Assessing Spirituality
  2. Spiritual Crises
  3. Therapy for the Whole Person; integrating spirituality within therapy
  4. Faith and Mental Health – the Intersection: How Faith Brought me to a Place of Some Wholeness. An Expert by Experience Perspective
  5. Spirituality and Psychotherapy
  6. Research and spirituality in mental health: Generating, interpreting, and disseminating evidence
  7. Spiritual Competencies: Key Ways to Address Spirituality in Mental Health Care

Themes & Journeys

  1. Psychological and Christian Perspectives on Mental Health
  2. Voices, Visions and the Spiritual Journey
  3. Return to Eden… Two Journeys

Spirituality, Services, Leadership and Training

  1. Love and Leadership Leads to Conscious Caring
  2. Coming at it Obliquely: Spiritual training for Healthcare Staff in an Age of Uncertainty
  3. Compassionate Leadership for an Interconnected World
  4. Burnout: A Spiritual Crisis, from Trauma to Transformation
  5. Spiritual Care in General Practice
  6. Beyond the Here and How – The Challenges for the Formal Mental Health System of Embracing Spiritually Informed Models of Care

New Landscapes

  1. Reflections on Race, Religion, and Well-Being
  2. Ecology, Mental Health and Eco-spirituality
  3. The Call of the New Spiritualities: The Unfolding Mysteries of the Universe and Consciousness
  4. Beyond Separation: Transpersonal and Spiritual Approaches to Well-Being

Conclusion & Reflections

Online Book Launch Intro


  1. Rick Hanson, Ph.D., Author of Buddha’s Brain, Hardwiring Happiness, and Resilient

    Encyclopedic in scope, intimate and soulful in tone, and profoundly useful in practice, this genuine classic belongs on the shelf of every therapist, policymaker, and healthcare provider. It is that rare book which is both academically authoritative and infused with respect for mystery and the human spirit. It is full of hope when many despair, and undaunted in its belief in the power of the heart amidst the challenges of our times.

  2. David Lorimer | Editor at Paradigm Explorer

    This handbook is essential reading for health and social care professionals, service users and carers, as indicated in its subtitle. It is a revised and extended edition, following up on Spirituality and Mental Health edited by Peter Gilbert in 2011 and incorporating a new emphasis on mental health and wellbeing. Spirituality is increasingly recognised, as the foreword notes, ‘as an integral part of wellbeing and psychological health.’

    The pandemic along with the effects of social media have exacerbated mental health issues across the life cycle, but especially among young people. The introduction asks where we are now, giving an overview of the current context and including chapters on integrating spirituality into mental-health services, African psychology and finding meaning and purpose. The editors propose that spirituality may well become ‘the heart of and foundation for our mental health and well-being.’ I found the article on African psychology of special interest, in the light of colonisation as a global system of white supremacy, resulting in an evacuation of an all-pervasive spirit entailing interconnectedness and communal group connection, which we urgently need to rediscover.

    The 28 chapters are arranged in four parts, including spirituality across the life-cycle, therapeutic practice and 14 themes and journeys covering a huge range of topics embracing spiritual crises, faith, psychotherapy, research, spiritual competencies, visions, compassionate leadership, caring, spiritual training, burnout, spiritual care, eco-spirituality, new spiritualities and the transpersonal. Many well-known authors are featured, and the book will surely put spirituality and spiritual care firmly on the agenda. Some authors propose spiritual reflections, and there are comprehensive references at the end of each article. In the final chapter, the editors summarise key themes and threads such as connectedness and the collective, the language of spirituality, diversity and inclusion, compassion and the whole person. They call for a process of reclaiming our inner knowing, transcending separateness and celebrating our shared humanity.

    They also highlight a few areas not covered in detail, such as bodywork and multiple faith perspectives. They conclude with some questions and reflections to explore on an individual and collective level, including expanding our awareness into more subtle realms so as to become part of the necessary spiritual transformation. As a whole, the book represents the depth dimension of life and healing, and deserves the widest possible readership.

Add a review

You may also like…