International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Helping Addicts Move Beyond the Spiritual Wading Pool: A New Approach to Religion and Spirituality in the Healing of Addictions

Linda Mercadante, Ph.D

The Methodist Theological School in Ohio


For a very long time, the fields of psychology and medicine — places where addiction is often discovered and treated — virtually ignored both spirituality and religion.  In fact, as one researcher discovered: “the word spirituality did not even appear in Medline until the 1980s” (Mills, 2002, p.1).  Fortunately this is changing, for in just the last decade or so, spirituality and even religion have become hot topics in both the medical and psychological fields.

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