National Alliance on Mental Illness
page printed from FaithNet NAMI
Dr. Nancy Kehoe
Dr. Nancy Kehoe, Director of Expanding Connections, is a licensed psychologist. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School and a member of the Religious of the Sacred Heart and has held various leadership positions in her religious congregation.
Long before it became more mainstream, Nancy has worked with staff me mbers in mental health, geriatric and medical settings both locally in Massachusetts and nationally. In mental health settings, such as the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division, she has trained interns and staff members to lead groups on spiritual beliefs and values, using a model she created and has successfully used for 30 years in a psychiatric day treatment program.
In geriatric settings, she has led programs for the staff focused on caring for the caregiver and offered presentations to the residents. In medical settings, she has addressed the importance of taking a religious/spiritual history of patients and developing a reflective practice. Utilizing her religious and psychological background, she has facilitated numerous meetings for religious groups as well as seminars for third year medical students at Harvard Medical School. She has published on the subject of religion and mental health and has presented at both national and international conferences.
Until recently, healthcare providers have not been trained to ask patients about their religious and spiritual beliefs. Nancy recognized this defect in heath care and developed a comprehensive Religious History Assessment tool. With this instrument, she has educated professionals in private practice, enabling them to explore the client’s religious and spiritual history with greater ease. Ongoing requests for this tool attest to its usefulness and need.
More recently, Nancy wrote her book Wrestling with our Inner Angels: Faith, Mental Illness, and the Journey to Wholeness, in which she gives readers of all backgrounds and interests, new insights into the inner lives of the mentally ill and new ways of thinking about the role of spirituality and faith in all our lives.