Psychology and Religion

The pre-Colonial Philippines was much like neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia, and Counseling still shows a vestige of indigenous help-seeking through Superstition, Reliance on elders, faith healers and fortune-tellers, and Belief in the Supernatural (Fr. Jaime Bulatao, S.J., 1992).


A humanistic counseling Psychologist named Carl Rogers stated that he does not want to instruct others how to behave, and it not necessary to believe in God or in any religion to be a good spiritual person. Sigmund Freud had argued that God is a projection of a childish wish for protection from a cruel and uncertain world. He viewed religion as a severe enemy of an individual's worldview (Pérez-Álvarez, 2018). The concept of a worldview has played an essential role in psychoanalysis, critical theory, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century hermeneutics. Freud viewed religion as a neurosis that an individual must overcome on his way from childhood to maturity (Galek, 2015). In addition, B.F. Skinner denied that he had to attend a daily mass at Hamilton College as an undergraduate, while Albert Ellis postulated that less religious people are more emotionally healthy. In that intellectual climate, we can conclude that most psychologists did not consider integrating spirituality into the practice of psychotherapy (Villani, D., Sorgente, A., Iannello, P., & Antonietti, A. 2019).


Jungian Psychology emphasizes growth after midlife and acknowledges religion as an integral part of a person's life. Carl Jung's theory is one of the most famous traditional psychological approaches. His approach is commonly feared and misunderstood. Some practitioners view his idea as irrational and non-scientific due to symbols, dreams, archetypes, unconscious, and the collective unconscious. Some experts declared Jungian Psychology as a cult. Jung was president of the Guild of Pastoral Psychology (Kim-Prieto, C., & Miller, L. 2018). They are committed to integrating the practices of psychology and theology. Jung argued that evil is a result of a person's ability to make conscious judgments. When an individual project rejected parts of themselves onto others, they see those other persons as evil. Continued psychological development in adulthood requires moral development. Integration of one's shadow means "seeing one's moral faults" and is the "equivalent of taking responsibility for one's own life."


Moreover, Spiritual Counseling was slow to develop because ministers and psychotherapists are not always willing to collaborate. In the 20th century, religion struggled to demonstrate its relevance, and many qualified spiritual counselors have used the latest modern psychotherapy techniques and concentrated on symptom relief. Soul and spirit should be treated as one with the mind and body. Therapies should care for the entire person (King, P. E., & Boyatzis, C. J., 2015).


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