Friends or enemies?

cat and dogFor various reasons I have been inspired to write about the relationship between therapy and faith. Of course there are books and journal articles written about this and even a special research unit devoted to this at the University of Cambridge, but these are my thoughts: Some psychotherapists would not discuss anything about themselves with their client and certainly not any religious views; this is perhaps indicative of a certain type of training. However I consider it to be rude if a client asks me a question and I answer it with “why do you need to know that?” Obviously in the session the focus is on the client, but there is nevertheless a therapeutic relationship going on that involves two or more people, including the therapist. If a client brings spirituality into the room then it is up for discussion. Also one could argue that Christian or Buddhist values can enhance using techniques such as mindfulness.

There is perhaps a historical take on this- psychologists in the early days were often atheists or agnostics either because they considered themselves to be pure scientists (and science and religion used to clash) or because they thought that being part of a faith group could cause you to repress your emotions (put v simply).

However as a health psychologist I have read of the benefits to physical health that are brought about by being part of a community and by living a life where you have respect for your own body. I think that having a purpose in life means you are less likely to be depressed.