School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
Medical and Health Sciences| Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Dr Barbra Zupan, Professor Pamela Joy Meredith
Doctor of Philosophy

Research Details

Thesis Name

Use of sensorimotor religious and spiritual practices for therapeutic purposes in mental health clinical settings

Thesis Abstract

My thesis explores the evidence of mental health benefits of religious/spiritual (R/S) practices and their use as mental health interventions. The research focuses on those R/S practices that use the body as a medium, such as chanting, breathwork and meditative movements. By conducting two systematic reviews, I investigated the current evidence of the use of these practices in mental health outcomes. A survey with mental health professionals and interviews with religious experts and lay practitioners.

Why my research is important/Impacts

In the backdrop of Covid 19, when world is dealing with acute mental health crisis, access to mental health services is severely restricted. My research offers a viable solution of use of R/S practices that can supplement existing mainstream mental health services. R/S practices have been used by mankind for time immemorial for emotional comfort and mental health wellbeing. Despite empirical evidence of their effectiveness in mental health, R/S practices are not integrated in existing mental health services. My thesis explores how these practices can be taken out of realm of religion and used as mental health interventions.