Skip to content
BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access September 5, 2016

Depression, Psychotherapy, and Hispanic Immigrant Charismatic Catholics in the U.S.

  • Lynn B. E. Jencks
From the journal Open Theology


The article engages the topic of the religious values of Hispanic immigrant charismatic Catholics, or carismáticos, and how these values manifest when carismáticos suffer from chronic depression. Their religious values prompt carismáticos to understand chronic depression as spiritual misalignment, which in turn prompts spiritual realignment and religious healing as the most effective means to address this mental illness. As a result, the carismáticos’ religious experiences lead them to conclude that psychotherapy is ultimately ineffective. While the carismáticos are beginning to make room for psychiatric medicine, they still perceive psychotherapists as holding values that irretrievably conflict with charismatic religious values. Engaging Bergin’s 1980 article “Psychotherapy and Religious Values,” this current article shares Bergin’s concern regarding the rift between religious values and psychotherapist’s values, and suggests the need for a more communal, religious approach to psychotherapy amongst practitioners of charismatic Catholicism.


Bergin, Allen E. “Psychotherapy and Religious Values.” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 48 no. 1 (1980), 95-105.Search in Google Scholar

Bergin, Allen E. and Jay P. Jensen, “Religiosity of Psychotherapists: A National Survey.” Psychotherapy 27 (1990), 3-7.Search in Google Scholar

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse Treatment: Addressing the Specific Needs of Women. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2009,, accessed 2/5/16.Search in Google Scholar

Richards, P. Scott and Allen E. Bergin, “Religious Diversity and Psychotherapy: Conclusions, Recommendations, and Future Directions.” In Handbook of Psychotherapy and Religious Diversity, edited by P. S. Richards and A. E. Bergin, 469-489. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2000.Search in Google Scholar

Vega, William A., Bohdan Kolody, Sergio Aguila-Gaxiola, Ethel Alderete, Ralph Catalano, and Jorge Caraveo-Anduaga. “Lifetime Prevalence of DSM-III-R Psychiatric Disorders Among Rural and Urban Mexican Americans in California.” Archives of General Psychiatry, 55 no. 9 (1998), 771-782.Search in Google Scholar

Wassertheil-Smoller, Sylvia, Elva M. Arredondo, JianWen Cai, Sheila F. Castaneda, James P. Choca, Linda C. Gallo, Molly Jung, Lisa M. LaVange, Elizabeth T. Lee-Rey, Thomas Mosley, Frank J. Penedo, Daniel A. Santistaban, and Phyllis C. Zee. “Depression, Anxiety, Antidepressant Use, and Cardiovascular Disease among Hispanic Men and Women of Different National Backgrounds: Results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL).” Annals of Epidemiology, 24 no. 11 (2014), 822-830.Search in Google Scholar

Zea, María Cecilia, Michael A. Mason, and Alejandro Murguía, “Psychotherapy with Members of Latino/Latina Religions and Spiritual Traditions.” In Handbook of Psychotherapy and Religious Diversity, edited by P. S. Richards and A. E. Bergin, 379-419. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, 2000. 10.1037/10347-016Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2015-12-29
Accepted: 2016-6-8
Published Online: 2016-9-5

©2016 Lynn B. E. Jencks

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

Downloaded on 3.6.2023 from
Scroll to top button