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PASTORAL PSYCHOLOGY

One application of the psychology of religion


is in pastoral psychology, the use of
psychological findings to improve the
pastoral care provided by pastors and other
clergy, especially in how they support
ordinary members of their congregations.
Pastoral psychology is also concerned with
improving the practice of chaplains in
healthcare and in the military. One major
concern of pastoral psychology is to improve
the practice of

RELIGION AND PSYCHOTHERAPY

Various forms of explicitly religious


psychotherapies that maintain the
traditional psychological framework have
recently become more prevalent.
Clients religious beliefs are increasingly
being considered in psychotherapy with
the goal of improving service and
effectiveness of treatment.[76]

RELIGION AND PSYCHOTHERAPY

A resulting development was theistic psychotherapy.


Conceptually, it consists of theological principles, a
theistic view of personality, and a theistic view of
psychotherapy.[77]
Following an explicit minimizing strategy, therapists
attempt to minimize conflict by acknowledging their
religious views while being respectful of clients
religious views.[78]
This opens up the potential for therapists to directly
utilize religious practices and principles in therapy,
such as prayer, forgiveness, and grace.

RELIGION AND PSYCHOTHERAPY

Various forms of explicitly religious psychotherapies that maintain the


traditional psychological framework have recently become more
prevalent.
Clients religious beliefs are increasingly being considered in
psychotherapy with the goal of improving service and effectiveness of
treatment.[76]
A resulting development was theistic psychotherapy. Conceptually, it
consists of theological principles, a theistic view of personality, and a
theistic view of psychotherapy. [77]
Following an explicit minimizing strategy, therapists attempt to
minimize conflict by acknowledging their religious views while being
respectful of clients religious views. [78] This opens up the potential for
therapists to directly utilize religious practices and principles in
therapy, such as prayer, forgiveness, and grace.

In 1984, Thomas Oden severely criticized mid20th century pastoral care and the pastoral
psychology that guided it as having entirely
abandoned its classical/traditional sources, and
having become overwhelmingly dominated by
modern psychological influences from Freud,
Rogers, and others.[79]
More recently, others have described pastoral
psychology as a field that experiences a tension
between psychology and theology.[80]

Approximately 70% expressed some


degree of affiliation with organized
religion, with almost 45% indicating
that they were highly active or
regularly participate in religion.

A recent survey of counselor values, based on a


nationally representative sample of counselor
members of the American Counseling
Association, showed that almost 64% of the
respondents believe in a personal God while
another 25% believe in a transcendent or spiritual
dimension to reality (E. W. Kelly, in press).
Approximately 70% expressed some degree of
affiliation with organized religion, with almost
45% indicating that they were highly active or
regularly participate in religion.

Those who identified themselves as religious


also expressed a substantially greater intrinsic
than extrinsic religious orientation, that is,
they value religion more for its importance as
a guide in life than for its socially beneficial or
personally comforting aspects.
This last finding suggests that counselors who
are religious tend to have a religiousness
grounded in a spiritual orientation toward life.

Surveys of other mental health


professionals have shown that the spiritual
and religious values and beliefs of clinical
psychologists, social workers, and
psychiatrists are, in some respects, similar
to those of counselors (Haughen, Tyler, &
J. A. Clark, 1991;Bergin & Jensen, 1990;
Shafranske & Malony, 1990b), while in
other respects are somewhat dissimilar.

For example, other mental health professionals


indicate rates of religious affiliation (approximately
70%) and participation (approximately 40%) similar
to those of counselors (Jensen & Bergin,1988;
Shafranske & Malony, 1990b), and rate their religious
commitment relatively high on an 8-factor scale of
mental health values (Haughen etal., 1991).
On the other hand, 68% of these mental health
professionals agree that seeking a spiritual
understanding of one's place in the universe is an
important

In contrast to this generally high valuing of spirituality and


religion, counselors and other mental health professionals
manifest substantial differences about specific, traditional
religious beliefs.
Indeed, while counselors and other mental health
professionals indicate high levels of agreement on a wide
range of mental health values such as self-determination,
personal responsibility, and human relatedness, they differ
significantly in their opinions regarding specific kinds of
religious belief--for example, in the nature of humans'
relationship to God or the transcendent and in religiously
associated morality in the area of sexuality (E. W. Kelly, in
press; Jensen & Bergin, 1988).

In contrast to this generally high valuing of spirituality and


religion, counselors and other mental health professionals
manifest substantial differences about specific, traditional
religious beliefs.
Indeed, while counselors and other mental health
professionals indicate high levels of agreement on a wide
range of mental health values such as self-determination,
personal responsibility, and human relatedness, they differ
significantly in their opinions regarding specific kinds of
religious belief--for example, in the nature of humans'
relationship to God or the transcendent and in religiously
associated morality in the area of sexuality (E. W. Kelly, in
press; Jensen & Bergin, 1988).

When the spiritual and religious beliefs of


counselors are compared with those of the
general population, we find that counselors'
overall beliefs and rates of affiliation and
participation are similar, although not identical,
to those of the general population.
For example, about 90% of the general
population report that they never doubted the
existence of God (Gallup & Castelli, 1989), while
89% of counselors indicate a belief in a personal
God or a transcendent dimension to reality.

Both professional counselors and the general


population, as well as other mental health
professionals, report about a 70% level of some
affiliation with organized religion, with 40%
reporting a high to moderate level of
participation; however, these self-reports may be
subjective overestimations of actual participation
(Hadaway et al.,1993).
On the other hand, the almost 30% of clinical
psychologists who believe that God or the divine
are illusory notions contrasts with the 9.

OBJECTIVISM

Some of the basis tenets of Objectivism are


that truth exists and can be discovered by
reasoning; morality consists of pursuing
rational self-interest; altruism is evil; laissezfaire capitalism is the only moral form of
society possible; communism, fascism, and
anarchism are evil; the greatest pleasures
are productivity and romantic love; and
anyone who disagrees with any of the above
is a psycho-epistemological mind subverter.

Albert Ellis contends that Objectivism is


a religion because it is a "dogmatic,
fanatical, absolutist, anti-empirical,
people-condemning creed" which is
based on the assumption that "some
higher power or order of the universe
demands that their views are right and
that all serious dissenters to their views
are for all time wrong."

Not only does Dr. Ellis proclaim that to


believe in absolutes is anti-empirical and
therefore religious, but he also implies that
to be religious is to be emotionally ill.
He believes that religious people are
motivated by a desperate need for certainty.
The religious person "holds on to his views
for dear life--as if he would fall apart by the
seams if he held them more loosely or let
them go completely."

G.W.F. HEGEL

Hegel (1770-1831) described all systems of religion,


philosophy, and social science as expressions of the
basic urge of consciousness to learn about itself and its
surroundings, and record its findings and hypotheses.
Thus, religion is only a form of that search for
knowledge, within which humans record various
experiences and reflections. Others, compiling and
categorizing these writings in various ways, form the
consolidated worldview as articulated by that religion,
philosophy, social science, etc. His work
The Phenomenology of Spirit

Freud views the idea of God as being a


version of the father image, and
religious belief as at bottom infantile
and neurotic. Authoritarian religion,
Freud believed, is dysfunctional and
alienates man from himself.

CARL JUNG

The Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung (1875


1961) adopted a very different posture, one
that was more sympathetic to religion and
more concerned with a positive appreciation
of religious symbolism.
Jung considered the question of the
existence of God to be unanswerable by the
psychologist and adopted a kind of
agnosticism.[8]

An important thing for Adler is that God (or the idea of


God) motivates people to act, and that those actions
do have real consequences for ourselves and for
others. Our view of God is important because it
embodies our goals and directs our social
interactions.
Compared to science, another social movement,
religion is more efficient because it motivates people
more effectively. According to Adler, only when
science begins to capture the same religious fervour,
and promotes the welfare of all segments of society,
will the two be more equal in peoples' eyes.