Journal of Religion and Health

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 405–418 | Cite as

Polishing the Mirror: Mental Health from a Bahá’í Perspective

  • Michelle Maloney


While various authors have explored multiple religious theories of mental health in an effort to become more responsive to clients’ needs, there is a dearth of information on the Bahá’í conception of this important subject despite the faith’s growth across the world. This article will present a Bahá’í perspective on mental health by examining the faith’s basic tenets and teachings, its affinities and dissimilarities with various traditional psychotherapeutic theories, its views on psychological functioning, and its sources of healing. Common therapeutic issues of Bahá’ís will also be explored to aid counselors in conceptualizing and treating these clients.


spirituality Bahá’í spiritual perspective psychotherapy 


  1. Abdu’l-Bahá (1971). Paris talks: Addresses given by Abdu’l-Bahá in Paris 1911–12. London, England: Baha’i Publishing TrustGoogle Scholar
  2. Abdu’l-Bahá (1978a). Selections from the writings of Abdu’l Bahá. Haifa, Israel: Baha’i World CentreGoogle Scholar
  3. Abdu’l-Bahá (1978b). Join the army of peace. Star of the West, XIII, 112. Oxford, UK: George RonaldGoogle Scholar
  4. Adler A. (1931). What life should mean to you Boston: Little BrownGoogle Scholar
  5. Bahá’u’lláh, (1976). Gleanings from the writings of Bahá’u’lláh. (S. Effendi, Trans.). Wilmette, IL: Bahai Publishing TrustGoogle Scholar
  6. Bahá’u’lláh (1978). Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Haifa, Israel: Baha’i World CentreGoogle Scholar
  7. Bergin A., (1994). Religious life-styles and mental health In: Brown L.B., (Eds),Religion, personality, and mental health. New York: Springer-Verlag. (pp. 70–93)Google Scholar
  8. Cameron G., Momen W., (1996). A basic Bahá’í chronology. Oxford, UK: George RonaldGoogle Scholar
  9. Donahue M. J., (1989). Disregarding theology in the psychology of religion: Some examples Journal of Psychology and Theology 17: 329–335Google Scholar
  10. Hatcher W. S., Martin J. D. (1984). The Bahá’í faith: The emerging global religion. San Francisco, CA: Harper & RowGoogle Scholar
  11. Jacobs J. L., Capps D. (1997). Religion, society, and psychoanalysis: Readings in contemporary theory. Boulder, CO: WestviewGoogle Scholar
  12. Jung C. G. (1938). Psychology and religion New Haven, CT: Yale University PressGoogle Scholar
  13. Koenig H. G., Pritchett J. (1998). Religion and psychotherapy In: Koenig H.G., (Eds), Handbook of religion and mental health. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. (pp. 323–326)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Koenig H. G., Georg L. K., Peterson B. L.. (1998). Religiosity and remission of depression in medically ill older patients American Journal of Psychiatry 155: 536–542PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Kohler W., (1959). Gestalt psychology. New York, NY: Signet PublishingGoogle Scholar
  16. Langman P. F., (1995). Including Jews in multiculturalism Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development 23: 222–236Google Scholar
  17. McCullough M. E., Larson D. B. (1999). Prayer. In: Miller W.R., (Eds), Integrating spirituality into treatment Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. (pp. 85–110)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Miller G., (1999). The development of the spiritual focus in counseling and counselor education Journal of Counseling and Development, 77: 498–501Google Scholar
  19. Miller W. R., Thoresen C. E., (1999). Spirituality and health. In: Miller W.R., (Ed.), Integrating spirituality into treatment: Resources for practitioners. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. (pp. 3–18)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Momen W. (Ed.). (1991). A basic Bahá’í dictionary. Oxford, UK: George RonaldGoogle Scholar
  21. Olson R. P., (2002). Religious theories of personality and psychotherapy: East meets west. New York, NY: HaworthGoogle Scholar
  22. Propst L. R., (1980). The comparative efficacy of religious and nonreligious imagery for the treatment of mild depression in religious individuals Cognitive Therapy and Research 4: 167–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rizzuto A., (1996). Psychoanalytic treatment and the religious person. In: Shafranske E., (Eds) Religion and the clinical practice of psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. (pp. 409–431)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rogers C. (1995). On becoming a person. Boston, MA: Mariner BooksGoogle Scholar
  25. Schlosser L. (2003). Christian privilege: Breaking a sacred taboo. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development 31: 44–51Google Scholar
  26. Shoghi-Effendi (1935). The advent of divine justice. Rutland, UK: Baha’i Publishing TrustGoogle Scholar
  27. Spilka B., Bridges R. A. (1989). Theology and psychological theory: Psychological implications of some modern theologies Journal of Psychology and Theology 17: 343–351Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Blanton-Peale Institute 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Great FallsUSA

Personalised recommendations