Archives for February, 2012

Mental Health

Psychology and Religion–5 Steps Toward A Tentative Friendship

Last week, I raised a mini-ruckus with my post on the psychological and social benefits of religious faith.  While some commenters were supportive, more than a few readers accused me of proselytizing.  Others decried that religious topics had no place on a site dedicated to freeing people from their "mental disorders"  (implying that religion was a mental disorder).

The kerfuffle even inspired my colleagues at Therapy Soup...
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Conflict Resolution

Letting Go: 2 Steps to Leaving the Hurt Behind

~A husband exasperatedly says, "Just let it go, already!" to his wife who is still angry about an offense he committed early in their marriage.

~A woman, angry at her best friend for some hurtful comments following her miscarriage tearfully says, "No matter how hard I try, I just can't let it go."

These are just two examples I've heard in session* recently about the challenge of letting old hurts go.

Letting things go is...
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Conflict Resolution

Are You a Stuffer? Graceful Guidance for Speaking Up

People-of-Faith often think it’s more charitable to simply forgive and forget, even if the other person hasn’t asked for it.  There are times when this is true, but if you find you’re not able to let go of an offense, stuffing your feelings and pretending everything is "OK"  isn't the "faithful" thing to do.  Even if it might cause some conflict, it is always better to bring your concerns to the other person directly, and...
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Faith

Losing My Religion – Should Anyone Care? The Social and Psychological Benefits of Religious Faith

Religion gets a lot of bad PR these days.  Some of it is certainly deserved.  Much, I would argue, is not.  But all of that begs the question, "Does religion provide any objective purpose for the psychological health of the person and the good of society?"

Benefits of Religious Faith:  All in Your Head?

It's an important question, especially as more and more people jettison religious faith in favor of more subjective, personal,...
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Faith

Getting Your Needs Met: A Faithful Guide to Speaking Up

People-of-Faith often struggle with making our needs known.

Telling someone what you need is almost universally awkward, but people-of-faith often struggle against the idea that telling others what they need runs counter to the call to be generous, selfless, and committed to working for the good of others.  For Christians, this struggle is crystallized by the misapplication of John 3:30 that says, "He must increase while I must decrease,"  but by no means have Christians cornered...
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Relationships

Marriage: A Letter from Beyond the Grave

Upon reading his own obituary in a newspaper, it is said that Mark Twain penned a letter to the editor that began, "the rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated."

I recalled Twain's note from "beyond the grave" this past January when I read a study purporting to  announce the death of the notion that marriage gives benefits to couples that cohabitation can't give.

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General

Be My Methodius!

A Little Known V-Day Factoid:  Although we popularly celebrate St. Valentine's Day on Feb. 14th, the liturgical calendar for the Roman Catholic Church honors Sts. Cyril and Methodius (missionaries to the Slavic people and founders of the Russian, aka, Cyrillic, alphabet) on this day.  What few people realize is that this is intentional.  Roman Catholics join these two great celebrations, of course, to remind the world that Slavs are the best...
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Conflict Resolution

A 4-Step Spiritual Cure for Negative Thinking

St. Augustine once said, "The battle for the soul is waged in the mind."

How true it is.  Our capacity

be a rational actor in the moment
be mindfully aware of our experience and the choices available to us
be capable of choosing what is healthy, and good, and true despite discouraging thoughts and feelings

is the key to emotional, relational and spiritual health.

But those things are easier said than done.  It's one thing for St Paul to...
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