Psychologists Shouldn’t Ignore the Soul

A good friend sent me this article from The Wall Street Journal. Enjoy!

Mr. Rosmarin, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School writes:

In my first six months as a psychology intern at McLean Hospital, I was approached by 10 patients asking essentially the same question: Can I speak to you about God? They wanted to discuss their problems not in psychological terms but in spiritual ones.

It was hardly surprising that patients wanted to talk about God. Psychological science has consistently shown that spirituality can shape someone thinks. “Religion and spirituality have the ability to promote or damage mental health.”

For many patients their spiritual lives provide hope, meaning, purpose and a connection to the divine. All of this can serve as a resource to cope with emotional distress. But spiritual life can also be a struggle. Some feel unjustly punished by God. Having spiritual concerns can cause emotional pain.  Ignoring spirituality feels like a form of malpractice.

I’m not sure that the field of psychotherapy as a whole is ready to evolve toward a more spiritual conversation. But for now I am grateful to have not only permission to talk to God, but a professional duty to do so.”

Mr. Rosmarin is the director of the Spirituality and Mental Health Program sat McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA.


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