WRESTLING with Our INNER Angels "For building bridges across the chasm that exists between religion and psychology and for her dutiful service to suffering people both in her practice and in the prose of this rich book, Nancy Kehoe deserves all our gratitude and respect and attention." --Joshua Shenk, author, "Lincoln's Melancholy" "Wrestling with Our Inner Angels" offers Nancy Kehoe's compelling, intimate, and moving story of how she brought her background as a psychologist and a nun to bear in the groups of people with mental illness that explored the role of faith and spirituality in their treatment--and in their lives. Filled with fascinating stories of her own spiritual journey, this book offers new insights into the inner lives of people with mental illness and new ways of thinking about the role of spirituality and faith in all our lives. Most clinicians who treat the mentally ill would rather not talk about their clients' religious and spiritual beliefs. They are fearful of what might be unleashed or what dangerous tendencies or delusions might be reinforced. In return, clients don't reveal the details of their inner lives because they believe their therapists would see them as sicker, and suspect that their beliefs might be held against them. But as distinguished clinician and Sacred Heart nun Nancy Kehoe found out, respecting spiritual and religious beliefs of those who suffer from mental illness actually opens the way to greater meaning, support, and even healing.
The shadow of Freud and his view of religion as illusion still looms over psychotherapy, making it problematic for therapists to engage their clients about a subject that can be of great importance and potential benefit. Because she is both a nun and a clinician, author Kehoe can draw on both her psychological and religious training to approach with insight and sensitivity the role of belief and motivation in the lives of people troubled by mental illness. Neither illusion nor panacea, religious belief helps people organize their lives and make decisions. Kehoe has listened for years to people with illness, and she shares their compelling stories. She also discloses her own wrestling with inner religious promptings and their influence in her own choices. This book will be most helpful to other professionals in the field, but its honesty and humility also make it useful for anyone interested in faith and mental illness, particularly anyone with an emotional stake in the difficulties of mental illness. (June) ( Publishers Weekly , May 11, 2009) " Wrestling With Our Inner Angels is an important book...All concerned with faith, mental health and the journey to wholeness -- whether from a spiritual-religious or a psychological perspective -- will not only enjoy reading this book but be encouraged to reflect more deeply on the author's thesis." ( America magazine October 26, 2009)
Praise for WRESTLING with Our INNER Angels "Nancy Kehoe has done something truly remarkable both in this book and in her practice as a Harvard psychologist--she has broken the taboo on talking about religious beliefs in the treatment of mental illness. Her decision to hold group therapy sessions centered around religion not only allowed her patients to better wrestle with their inner angels but also took her on a journey of spiritual self-discovery that led to acceptance of her own angels within. Anyone who has ever dealt with mental illness or thought seriously about religion should read this book." COKIE ROBERTS news analyst for ABC and NPR; author, "We Are Our Mothers' Daughters," "Founding Mothers," and "Ladies of Liberty" "To continue the progress we have made in mental health policy in this country, we need to continue to work toward changing the perceptions of mental illness. An important means of achieving this is through the sharing of personal experiences. In her book, Dr. Kehoe offers a selection of personal stories that give readers a better understanding of what it means to suffer from a mental illness in America." CONGRESSMAN PATRICK KENNEDY Rhode Island "In this candid and courageously revealing personal exploration, Dr. Kehoe shines a bright, warm light into a dark area of current mental health practice and demonstrates how spirituality and faith can represent sources of strength for the mentally ill, rather than symptoms of illness. A truly inspiring work." THOMAS G. GUTHEIL, M.D. professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
Please join us for a very special intimate book talk on Sunday, March 4 at 4:00PM with Nancy Kehoe, RSCJ, Phd. Dr. Kehoe is a clinical psychologist and an instructor in the psychiatry department of the Cambridge Health Alliance, affiliated with Harvard Medical School. She is also a member of Stuart's Board of Trustees. Dr. Kehoe is well known for her pioneering work with people with mental illness and has more than 25 years incorporating spiritual and religious beliefs with their role in mental health treatment. She will be discussing her book Wrestling with our Inner Angels: Faith, Mental Illness, and the Journey to Wholeness was published in 2009.
Cokie Roberts (news analyst, political correspondent and author of We are Our Mothers' Daughters) said of Dr. Kehoe's work, “Nancy Kehoe has done something truly remarkable both in this book and in her practice as a Harvard psychologist: she has broken the taboo on talking about religious beliefs in the treatment of mental illness… Anyone who has ever dealt with mental illness, or thought seriously about religion should read this book.”