ReligionTherapyDiscuss the contention that religion can best beunderstood as a form of therapy.IntroductionFor decades now, there is an outstanding andcontinuing contention fathoming religion as an aspect of therapeuticdesignation. In the argument for the hypothesis, Rosmarin et al., stated thatthe integration of religion into the therapeutic process incorporates thecognitive as well as philosophic perspectives and attributes of emotionalbehavior.
According to Kersting, (2003), individuals in most cases consultreligion for advice and counsel; the religious people have been historicallyapplying the therapeutic and religion fields to enhance healing and improvementof human well-being. As a result, there was an emergent of the religion therapyby the start of the 19th Century. Religion Therapy refers to theform of counseling that tries to treat the soul, mind and the body of anindividual by through the individual belief systems and faith in thesupernatural power to reconnoiter the conflicting fields in life. The peoplewho trust and believe in the guiding nature of the higher power stand up toview the religion therapy helpful. Through the application of religion therapy,an individual with an experience with depression is most likely to get moralconflict in some aspects of life. In instances of anxiety, people arevulnerable to experience unconscious actions of self-sabotage. During both thedepression and anxiety state, human beings make use of the religious therapyhelps in unrevealing the conflicting aspects and probable mental concerns thatmay crop up.
The study conducted by William Hathaway, a Christian psychologistin the Regent University of Virginia says that he was the major therapist inthe family whose son suffered from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD). Hathaway advised the family on their religious stands, faith, andbeliefs. Realizing that the family was a Jewish and the behavior of the sonprevented them from attending the church services, Hathaway advised from to goback to the Jewish religious rituals. “They had made the decision not toand were tearful about it when asked, especially because none of their mentalhealth providers had considered it before,” says Hathaway (Anderson, 231).After a long discussionwith the family on the ramifications of religious in the life of the family,extensively broadened the experience of the family concerning the relationshipbetween therapy and religion. According to Hathaway, religious practices andexperiences will strengthen the ability of the family to encounter the ADHDcondition in the son.
Religion as a Therapeutic StrategyTheuse of religion as a therapeutic instrument has garnered a little controversy;however, it is still surfacing in the contemporary world. The religioustherapeutic approach involves the techniques of prayers, spiritual journaling,forgiveness procedures, using biblical quotes to corroborate the emotional andmental habits by aiming at achieving the God’s punitive image (Durhamet al., (320).Forinstance, Hathaway has used the religion-founded forgiveness protocol to aidhis client to manage the emotional challenges that resulted from the problemsinflicted by the friend or the family member.
The use of the religiousteachings of forgiveness helps the clients to avoid unhealthy anger as well asemerge the obnoxious condition without justifying the mistreatment. However, incomplementing statement towards the Hathaway’s philosophy, Carrie Doehring, a”Psychologist at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver” said that inthe course of religion forgiveness protocols implementation, the religion mightcause a negative effects on the life of the client: believing in God who hasangry attribute, should be microscopically observed to prevent the therapy tocause more emotional harm or crisis than before (Maloof,P. (n.
d.).Forthe profound understanding and comprehension of the religion as a therapeuticstrategy, the religious cognitive-emotional therapy; a modern type ofpsychotherapy was established. In this, the psychologists and psychotherapistshave enormously embarked on the research to understand the connectivity betweenthe religion and mental health, using religious interpositions inpsychotherapies. Despite the fact that various forms of religiouspsychotherapies have been supposed, there is no comprehensive empirical theorywas formulated in this field of study. Religious Cognitive-Emotional TherapyTheReligious Cognitive-Emotional Therapy (RCET) is recognized as the moderncognitive therapy that applies the fundamental religious beliefs as well asinsights in conducting the psychotherapy treatments. Actually, RCET integrates”cognitive, humanistic as well as existential psychotherapies” that embrace theclient’s religious standards and insights. According to the study byWilliams, about “Clark OM, Fairburn CG, editors.
Science andpractice of cognitive behavior therapy”, RCET stands out to be a critically effectiveapproach to psychotherapy especially for the victims of identity disorders, anxiety,and depression.FundamentalIdeology of RCETAs said earlier by Durham et al., (319), theReligious Cognitive-Emotional Therapy (RCET) is the significantly modernstrategy of cognitive theory which is founded on the concepts of religion. Asindicated by the cognitive theories, human thinking (cognition), the humanperception (emotion and effect) and human actions (behavior) form aninteractive approach with each other.
The basic purpose of undertakingcognitive therapy on human beings is to recognize the maladaptive/irrationalthoughts, suppositions as well as beliefs related to incapacitating thenegative emotions. Additionally, the cognitive therapy is responsible foridentification of dysfunctional emotions from human mental disabilities. Ultimately,the patients or victims shed out the irrational, maladaptive and distortedperceptions and instead, replace them with founded, realistic and self-helpingalternatives (Anderson, 223).The two basic theories that provide conceptsto the RCET include the Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), a theory that wascreated by Aaron T. Beck in 1976 and the theory of Rational Emotive BehaviorTherapy (REBT) which was formulated by Albert Ellis in 1962. Beck,Rush, Shaw & Emery givesa detailed description of the thinking errors, irrational, non-resourceful aswell as unrealistic (fictions) thoughts regarding oneself, other people and theuniverse that he trusted to be the sources of the emotional depression andunsuitable conducts of humanity.
Examples of the thinking errors that Beckaddressed include “the black andwhite thinking, arbitrary inference, selective abstraction, overgeneralization,magnification, and minimization.” Therefore, the cognitive therapyaims at identifying and changing the “distorted” or “unrealistic”thinking approaches and instead, to enact the emotions and behaviors. On theother hand, the REBT framework perceives that the human beings’ way of thinkingand maladaptive beliefs are the two factors that are at the core of emotionaldisturbances experienced. As indicated by Ellis (326) the feelings andbehaviors of human beings are determined by the people’s belief system ratherthe external events.
Usingthe REBT pedagogical approach, the emotional therapists might identify theirrational belief systems and educate the victim how to overcome suchmaladaptive beliefs daily. Ultimately, the outcome of overcoming self-defeatingbelief systems in humanity and replace them with more rational and confoundedbeliefs results into an effective philosophy. In addition, the CBT and REBT areused in the management of the psychological disorders as indicated in studiessuch as (Anderson KG. 227). However, the CBT and REBT; cognitivetheories lay more emphasizes on the manner of ideas and events interpretation. Applicabilityof the Religion as a Therapeutic StrategyAccording to the study by Heinz et al.
, thereligion as a therapeutic approach applies the basic religious belief systems.These systems form psychological conditions under which the people are convincinglyintroduced to the truth in a suggestion. The beliefs are fundamentally groundedin religious concepts. The basic religious beliefs are subdivided into threecategories in Religious Cognitive-Emotional Therapy (RCET): “God,existence and human beings.” Therefore, people loaded with these religiousbeliefs are capable of answering every important question about “self,others, world, God and interactions between them.
” When the people get theanswers to their troubling questions, they attain stable and long-lasting hopeand faith towards the universe. In addition, they are able to identify theirpurpose and distinguish the purpose of life since they feel articulated to theexistence, thus accept the realities. Such people comprehend the reason for theirliving, their behavior code and their objectives in life. Consequently, peopleend up living peacefully without aspects of depression and anxiety.Kersting ‘s research on “Religion and Spirituality in the Treatment Room” suggests thatthe basic religious practices such as prayers, religious meditation and otherperspectives of religious relationship build up the individual’s self-careroutine. In case a religious person is seeking treatment, therapist sensitivityis importantly significant in his/her treatment process since it leads to anextensive examination of the individual in need of treatment and gives anopportunity to the therapist to investigate diverse treatment solutions.Therapists are equipped with the therapeutic techniques and skills founded onreligion, for example, “religion journaling or the forgivenessprotocols” and also are capable of providing individuals in therapy withreferences on these topics.Accordingto the Religious Cognitive-Emotional Therapy (RCET)illustrated by Ellis A.
, individualspossess duo-dimensional approach in dealing with the emotions: body and psyche.The two dimensions form an interactive and intertwined structure where the bodyis related to the psyche. Therefore, in religious psychotherapy under the RCETstrategy, psychotherapists ought to integrate the concepts of bothpsychological and psychological levels. The psychological actors have asignificant role in various psychological disorders in diverse ways. Forinstance, in an anxiety disorder, there are several psychological responsesthat take place unconditionally like escalating pulse rate and unpleasantsensations. Such unconditioned emotional responses can cause classicalconditioning reflex. As indicated by the RCET theoretic framework, theclassical conditioning caused by physical injuries or psychological symptomsmight cause anxiety and related psychological disorders (Beck AT.78) AnExample Religious TherapyThe case example of the application of theRCET is the grieving religious mother in therapy.
After a long struggle withcancer, Doris mother passes away. Doris, 42, commences therapy for miserycounseling. Doris discloses to the therapist that despite that her mother was areligious woman, and continually asked her to develop a strong faith in God,Doris never became religious. The religious contention between Doris and herlate mother continued till when her mother met her demise. The therapistrequested for more information and Doris confirms that she begrudged hermother’s religiousness, which her mother was forcefully pushing her into.
Doris’s hoes arise when she starts to reconsider that her mother was right(being religious) therefore, she is secretly afraid she is “in troublewith God.” Doris’ fear was infringed by her mother’s dying statement thatDoris, “embrace the love of God,” as a result, Doris experiences manydiscomforts with respect to her mother’s wish. The therapist successfully helpsDoris to express her worries regarding the mother in the contextual of othersophisticated sentiments. With the help of a therapist, Doris is capable ofclarifying her personal spiritual beliefs, which doesn’t aim at a specificreligion or higher power but rather is centered in the exploration of theessential life questions about death, life and her purpose or place in theworld. Finally, the therapist was able to help Doris to accept her inability tosatisfy the death wish of her mother and embrace the normalcy of their diversebelief systems.Conclusion TheReligious Cognitive Emotional Theory (RCET) illustrates that in case peoplehave attained physical health, their thoughts, as well as their daily beliefsystems, are realistic.
Otherwise, such people have no sense of personalpurpose of life as well as the meaning of life. Several questions crisscrosstheir minds; when they fail to answer such essential life questions; theycannot possess “healthy emotions, behaviors, and feeling of comfort andsatisfaction in their lives.” Thus, in everyone’s struggle to seek themeaning of their lives, existence, and God, have to attain the essential lifequestions.
According to Kersting, (2003), such questions include, “where did wecome from? Why did we come to this world? Where are we going? Who created theworld and existence? Who is God? Who is the creator of existence?” In caseone fails to answer such questions, makes them pursue a meaningless life thatconsequently results in identity crisis and confusion. WorkCitedAndersonKG. Cognitive behavioral therapy for generalized anxiety in a 6- year- old.Clin Case Stud. 2004; 3:216–233.41.
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