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Catholicism and Mental Health

By: Thevathasan, Dr Pravin

Format: A6 Booklet

Dimensions: 10.5cm by 14.8cm

ISBN : 9781860829185

Number of Pages: 72

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Publication Date: 06 May 2014

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Product Code: EX52


In some pastoral contexts the boundaries between Catholicism and psychiatry in mental health care can be contentious. This work shows that there should be no conflict between them. Through a brief history of psychiatry in secular and faith settings the author moves to examining the conflicts and agreements that have arisen between Catholicism and psychiatry, with reference to Freud and Jung in particular. Case studies of some psychiatric disorders, depression being the most common, carry considerable insight to support the central thesis.

About the Author: Pravin Thevathasan has practiced as a Consultant Psychiatrist for over 17 years. He is Editor of Catholic Medical Quarterly and has authored other CTS publications.

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Mr CTS Reviews


This was a very captivating booklet. The subject matter is interesting and easy to follow. Dr. Thevathasan demonstrates the errors of Freud’s and Jung’s theory through the rejection of their belief systems, and therefore doesn’t even have to touch upon the validity of their scientific evidence. Most Catholics, myself included, know Freud’s and Jung’s theories to be erroneous, but are not able to explain why. This booklet gives the why in an engaging and informative manner. Next, Dr. Thevathasan accurately demonstrates where the psychiatrists field should end and religion begin, and vice-versa. Our Catholic beliefs and psychiatry do not have to be in conflict: the treatment of mental illness is helpful to, but no substitute for, the cure of the soul. Both, instead, can work together to help with mental illness. Another very useful part of the book was Thevathasen’s approach to depression. Depression is a very common problem to many people, either because they suffer from it or know a loved one who does. Dr. Thevathasen’s talks about how Catholicism and the hope contained within is so important to the healing of the depressed, while not rejecting that medication might also be used in conjunction if necessary. He asks for a holistic approach. The understanding of Depression is the best selling point of this booklet, and applies to a wide audience. He also approaches suicide, OCD and schizophrenia with the same approach. Mr Nate Pacer

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Mr Robert Borghese


In Dr. Thevathasan’s book, “Catholicism & Mental Health” we are given an understanding of how both psychiatry and Catholicism can work together if we recognize that each person is composed of mind, body, and soul. Too often mind and body is treated without consideration of the soul. Dr. Thevathasan points out the errors in the thinking and theories of Freud and Jung in particular and posits that when psychiatry is based on true science, it is not at odds with Church teachings. Some patient case studies add to the interest of the book.