Can you fully understand your patient’s perspective without first understanding their religious or spiritual inclinations? When it comes to treating spiritual patients, James Lomax, MD, contends that knowing their steadfast beliefs is a crucial factor in understanding their reactions and needs in mental health care. He urges clinicians to leave behind the notion that understanding a patient’s spirituality is antithetical to therapy or is “anti-science.”  

Join hosts Robert Boland, MD, and Kerry Horrell, PhD, on this episode of the Mind Dive podcast as Dr. Lomax draws on his expertise and experience to emphasize to clinicians the importance of understanding a patient in the midst of spiritual struggle and explores the notion that positive religious coping can be a beneficial tool in some mental health journeys.  

“To simply be curious and to wonder with patients is a real value,” said Dr. Lomax. “This is one of the best ways to produce a sense of healing as restoration to community for your patients.”  

Dr. Lomax is the Karl Menninger Chair for Psychiatric Education, former Brown Foundation Chair for Psychoanalysis, and Associate Chairman and Director of Educational Programs in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Lomax received the Oskar Pfister Award of the American Psychiatric Association for Excellence in Psychiatry and Spirituality in 2016 and the inaugural American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training Annual Lifetime Service Award in 2019.