For some reason, I am all about reading articles this week…hopefully ya’ll enjoy a mix of personal posts and posts reflecting on either research or published articles. Today’s article that I found discusses the affect that faith can have on therapy. While I am not religious, I can see the parallels in faith and therapy. There tends to be a negative stigma that is attached to therapy and I can see how having a strong belief in a higher power could contribute to having belief in therapy. Dr. McCabe linked faith and therapy really with belief. It all stems from one’s attitude and it seems, from some of the research presented in this article, that when you have a strong belief in God (or any other deity) it can have a positive impact on one’s progress in therapy.
Dr. Rosmarin offered further explanation for why religious faith might aid psychiatric treatment. “There’s a vulnerability associated with physicality,” he said. “I think people, psychiatric patients in particular, might recognize that vulnerability and recognize that things can’t be counted on. “Sometimes medications don’t work, and sometimes psychotherapy doesn’t work,” he continued. “But if someone believes in something that is metaphysical, if someone believes in something spiritual, which would ostensibly be eternal, permanent, unwavering, omnipotent, then that could be an important resource to them, particularly in times of emotional distress.”
Obviously it is going to be hard to do extensive research with a good research design since you cannot just randomly assign participants to a faith/no faith condition and it depends on the strength of one’s faith as well as what one is in therapy for…there are just a great number of conditions that cannot be controlled for in this research, but it is an interesting concept.
What are your thoughts on faith and therapy? Do you think there is a link?