Of god and psychotherapy

T. Byram Karasu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Psychotherapy is an instrument for remediation of psychological deficits and conflict resolution, as well as an instrument for growth and self-cultivation. In fact, psychotherapy is the finest form of life education. All of this is done without psychotherapists' playing a teacher, a minister, a priest, a rabbi, an imam, or a Buddhist monk, but by being familiar with what they know and more. That "more" is about understanding "the attributes" of gods and religions as they serve the all-too-human needs of believing and belonging. It is about the distillation of common psychological, sociological, moral, and philosophical attributes of religions, and the recognition that the attributes themselves are faith and God. Attributes that serve the affiliative needs define faith, for example, belonging is faith; attributes that serve the divine needs define God, for example, compassion is God. Those who have recovered from their primitive innocence need to formulate their ideas of God and religion, regardless of their affiliation with a religious community. One may need to resonate emotionally with the God of his or her religion, but intellectually need to transcend all its dogma and cultivate a personal concept of divinity free from any theological structure. Such an enlightened person achieves enduring equanimity by striving to own the attributes of Gods-to be godly. This is equally true for psychotherapists as it is for their patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-360
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychotherapy
Volume69
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015

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Keywords

  • God
  • Psychotherapy
  • Religion
  • Spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Karasu, T. B. (2015). Of god and psychotherapy. American Journal of Psychotherapy, 69(4), 357-360.