Divine Mercy University/McLean Hospital – Harvard Collaboration for Spirituality and Mental Health Research

Divine Mercy University has partnered with two preeminent leaders in psychological research — McLean Hospital and Harvard University — to study the bridge between spirituality and mental health. This timely union comes as research increasingly demonstrates a tangible link between faith, religion and coping with mental illness, trauma and overall health.

Divine Mercy University is dedicated to the growth of this important research examining the intersection of the entire person — the spiritual, the physical, the psychological and the social aspects of each individual as a whole. The donation of a generous benefactor allows DMU to support graduate student research, post-graduate student training, and empirical studies that will move this vital research forward.

Research Labs

Spirituality and Mental Health

Divine Mercy University, under the leadership of Dr. Marmarosh, and Mclean Hospital, under the leadership of Dr. David Rosmarin, are studying the effectiveness of Dr. Rosmarin’s SPIRIT intervention at McLean, a hospital wide intervention addressing the spiritual needs of patients with diverse mental health concerns. To date, students at Divine Mercy have used the data to present a poster at Division 39’s Conference (Spring 2022). The research team is also presenting a paper in a panel on positive psychology at the Society for Psychotherapy Research (Summer 2022). This paper will address spirituality and mental health care for patients seeking treatment with Borderline Personality Disorder.

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Coping With Cancer:
When There is No Cure (CAN)

Dr. Marmarosh and Dr. Hollman are collaborating with Harvard Medical School oncologists to develop an APP for patients diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. The APP will address symptoms, side effects of treatment, and positive psychological interventions (eg. hope, gratitude, faith, and meaning). Once the APP is developed, the researchers will study the effectiveness of the APP in a randomized controlled trial and seek FDA approval.

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Spirituality and the Brain

Divine Mercy University is collaborating with Dr. Diego Pizzagalli, the Director of the Neuroimaging Center at McLean Hospital. Together we are studying how spirituality and attachment relate to differences in brain functioning for women with and without histories of childhood trauma.The DMU/McLean/Harvard collaboration allows our faculty and students the opportunity to collaborate with the best neuroscientists using the latest technology in brain imaging to research how adult attachment and spirituality can influence the brain during distress. Many of the projects are highly competitive R01 grants funded by NIH.

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