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Religious leaders' perceptions of their emotional and psychological needs

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Publication details

JournalMental Health, Religion & Culture
DatePublished - 2014
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)62-78
Original languageEnglish


This study investigates religious leaders’ perceptions of their emotional and psychological needs using a qualitative Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis design consisting of semi-structured in-depth interviews. This study found that there are different factors contributing to becoming a religious leader; the participants are seeing their profession as a vocation, a job, a service, a calling but not as a career. Participants indicated having emotional problems but also having strong commitment to continue their work. Religious leaders are shown to have role conflicts and are not finding it easy to maintain their relationships. And participants used different coping strategies to overcome their emotional
problems. This is the first study in psychology to explore in detail how religious leaders perceive their own emotional problems and interpret their own experiences, and as a result, a number of implications of the findings and recommendations for future research are discussed.

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