Integration of religion and spirituality in therapy essay

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Integration of religion and spirituality in therapy essay

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For as Wright—who does not consider himself Integration of religion and spirituality in therapy essay Buddhist—admits, he is not really here to talk about any form of traditional Buddhism. Instead, this is a rather selective interpretation of some Buddhist doctrines in the light of evolutionary psychology.

The first of these claims is fairly uncontroversial. To give an obvious example, our love of salt, beneficial when sodium was hard to come by in natural products, has become maladaptive in the modern world where salt is cheap and plentiful.

Our emotions, too, can misfire nowadays. Caring deeply that people have a high opinion of you makes sense when you are, say, living in a small village full of people you know and interact with daily; but it makes little sense when you are surrounded by strangers on a bus.

This mismatch between our emotional setup and the newly complex social world is one reason for rampant stress and anxiety. This can also explain tribalism, which Wright sees as the most pressing danger of the modern world. But how can mindfulness meditation help?

Most obviously, it is a practice designed to give us some distance from our emotions. This is done by separating the feeling from its narrative.

Integration of religion and spirituality in therapy essay

But the meditator does her best to focus on the feeling itself, to examine its manifestation in her body and brain, while letting go of the corresponding narrative.

Stripped of the provoking incident, the feeling itself ceases to be provocative; and the anger may even disappear completely. In CBT the anger is attacked from the opposite side: In my experience, at least, the things one tells oneself while angry rarely stand up to cool analysis.

And when one ceases to believe in the thought, the feeling disappears. The efficacy of both mindfulness meditation and CBT, then, is based on the interdependence of feeling and thought.

If separated—either by focusing on the feeling during meditation, or the thought through analysis—the emotion disappears. This, in a nutshell, is how mindfulness meditation can be therapeutic. But Wright wants to make a far more grandiose claim: The first time I encountered this idea in a Buddhist text it made no sense to me; but Wright gives it an intriguing interpretation.

Our brain, designed to survive, naturally assigns value to things in our environment based on how useful or harmful they are to us. I have quite warm and fuzzy feelings about my laptop, for example; and even the communal computers where I work evoke in me a comforting sense of familiarity and utility.

These emotions, which are sometimes very tiny indeed, are what give experiential reality a sense of essence. The emotions, in other words, help us to quickly identify and use objects: The advantages of this are obvious to anyone in a hurry. But the downside is that we can look at the world quite narrowly, ignoring the sensuous qualities of objects in favor of an instrumental view.

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Visual art actively works against this tendency, I think, by creating images that thwart our normal registering system, thus prompting us into a sensuous examination of the work. Good paintings make us into children again, exploring the world without worrying about making use of things.

Mindfulness meditation is supposed to engender this same attitude, not just with regards to a painting, but to everything. With objects, it is hard to see why this state of emptiness would be very desirable.

Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Enlightenment by Robert Wright

But with regards to humans, this mindset might have its advantages. Instead of attributing essential qualities of good and bad to somebody we might see that their behavior can vary quite a bit depending on circumstances, and this can make us less judgmental and more forgiving.

Wright also has a go at the traditional Buddhist idea that the self is a delusion. According to what we know about the brain, he says, there is no executive seat of consciousness. He cites the famous split-brain experiments, and others like it, to argue that consciousness is not the powerful decision-maker we once assumed, but is more like a publicity agent: Each module governs our behavior in different ways; and environmental stimuli determine which module is in control.

Unfortunately, the book steeply declines in quality in the last few chapters—where Wright tackles the most mystical propositions of Buddhism—when the final stage of the no-self argument is given. This leads him into the following speculations: In this case, can we not be said to have seen the true oneness of reality and the corresponding unreality of personal identity?

These lofty considerations aside, when I am struck by a car they better not take the driver to the emergency room; and when Robert Wright gets a book deal he would be upset if they gave me the money.

My point is that this experience of oneness in no way undermines the reality of distinct personal identity, without which we could hardly go a day.

And this state of perfect detachment is arguably, contra Wright, a far less realistic way of seeing things, since being genuinely unconcerned as to whom a pain belonged, for example, would make us unable to help. Also in this way, contra Wright, it would make us obviously less moral.

But the notion that a meditative experience can allow us to see a metaphysical truth—the unreality of self or the oneness of the cosmos—I reject completely.religion, spirituality, therapy - A Review of Therapists' Integration of Religion and Spirituality in Counseling Mental Health Counseling Essay - Theories play an important role in how a counselor serves their clients.

Theories provide counselors with a foundation on which to build their counseling style. “The problem with introspection is that it has no end.” ― Philip K. Dick For years I've told people I was a Zen Mormon. More as a way to squirm into the edges of LDS cosmology, and less because I was practicing anything really approaching a hybrid of Buddhism and Mormonism.

BibMe Free Bibliography & Citation Maker - MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard. A rising young author in the integration of psychology and the Christian faith, Stan Jones, has put together an excellent collection of essays that deal with the topic from not only different perspectives, but about the different subdisciplines within psychology.

Religion and Spirituality in the Workplace Essay Words | 6 Pages Religion and Spirituality in the Workplace Faith in the workplace and the level of accommodations employers should allow is an increasing problem.

Abstract Western interest in Eastern religions, especially Buddhism, historically coincided with the rise of modern science and the corresponding perceived decline of religious orthodoxy in the West.

Put simply: Modern science initiated a deep spiritual crisis that led to an unfortunate split between faith and reason—a split yet to be reconciled.

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