595702_14433699PsychCentral reported on a study that shows when workers are very involved in their faith, it leads to more job satisfaction.

To me, it seems obvious that you don’t leave your faith at home. In fact, the idea of separation of faith and life seems strange.I aspire to have my faith inform my deeds, speech, and thought. There is no vacation from trying to be what I believe to be a good person.

Of course there are times when I fail (as each of us does.) That’s okay. Without failure, there wouldn’t be the possibility of movement and growth. We would be stagnant, even robotic.

As someone who works at a program with clients from virtually all religious denominations and none at all, I know that for many, faith is as important, even more important, to their recovery from mental illness and/or addiction than other aspects of treatment.

For some other clients, faith is an anathema, or of simply no interest at all.

While statistics might show that where you live determines your likelihood of belief in God, in the world of those struggling with mental illness and addiction, there are no demographics.

I sometimes hear about people who enter treatment with a shaky or reflexive faith, and leave with none. I also do know that in some cases people have lost their belief in God because of tough times. But, what I hear about most often is of people who enter treatment with deep questions about the meaning of their own life and life in general, and then come to belief in God.

Usually this happens one or both of the following ways:

1. Through discussions in group sessions where peers discuss the impact of faith on their lives and/or when questions of life’s meaning are explored

2. Through their own meditations and/or reading about the deeper questions they have, spurred by the challenges they live with (mental illness, addiction)

Perhaps this is more common in addiction treatment then in mental health treatment (though today, there is tremendous overlap.) After all, the 12 Steps were originally faith based.

In the next post we’ll talk more about recovery and faith.