Depression rates tripled among U.S. adults during the first year of the pandemic, while the mental health crisis among adolescents continues to leave experts concerned.

While many psychologists have weighed in, TC’s Lisa Miller – Professor of Psychology and Education, and Founder of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute – recent book on the value of spirituality in mental health is just the latest step in a unique academic journey to understanding the ties between psychology and what Miller calls transcendence.

Lisa Miller,  Professor of Psychology & Education and Director of the Spirituality & Mind Body Institute

Lisa Miller, Professor of Psychology and Education and Founder of the Spirituality, Mind, Body Institute (SMBI). (Photo: TC Archives)

This, and Miller’s subsequent questions and answers in The Awakened Brain, are the focus of a new examination from the National Review.

“The blank emptiness of the surrounding space deprives the experience of suffering of a feeling of connectedness or purpose. As this is what religion provides, it should be among the most obvious treatment approaches — no matter that the greater part of the psychiatric establishment has scrupulously avoided it or, like Freud, made war against it,” writes journalist and playwright Jonathan Leaf. [In her work, Miller speaks of innate spirituality within or without of religion.]

Readers, Leaf says, “will find Miller’s book timely,” as did The Wall Street Journal, when they sat down with Miller to discuss her work late last year.

“Spirituality is innate,” Miller told the Journal last August. “Some of us are more predisposed than others to feeling spiritually connected...But we can all cultivate this natural capacity and build our spiritual muscle.”

[Read more about Miller’s work in the National Review.]