Is Psychotherapy Inherently Spiritual? Or Secular? Or Both?
Live therapy with Marilyn coming soon!
Dear visitors and colleagues.
I am thrilled to announce that in several weeks, Fabrice and I will publish our second series of three live therapy podcasts, based on a therapy session we conducted last Saturday morning with a colleague facing catastrophic circumstances. Dr. Matthew May, a former student, colleague and friend for whom I have incredible admiration, was my co-therapist. I believe that the three podcasts based on that session will inform you professionally and show you exactly how my new TEAM-CBT works with someone experiencing severe depression. I think that the work we did with Marilyn will also touch and inspire you personally and spiritually as well.
And with that in mind, you might enjoy the wonderful note below that I just received from one of our Feeling Good Podcast listeners, along with my response.
I love, love, LOVE what I’m learning from you!!! Your podcasts are particularly helpful to people like me who learn better from listening than from reading.
Most of all, I LOVE your stories!!! They are what give meat, meaning, and clarity to your concepts. It is extremely helpful to me when you teach a concept and then tell a story to illustrate it. And don’t worry about repeating a story on the podcast; your stories are so good I would not mind hearing them five or ten times! You exude joy.
In my experience of listening to your podcasts, it feels like your life and work is permeated with the aroma of Christ. The other day I was out on a walk, I was listening to one of your podcast episodes on the disarming technique, and I turned to God and said, “You must really love this guy!”
Thanks so much for going to the time, trouble and effort to pass on to the rest of us what you have been learning!!!
V., LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY
David’s response to V
Thank you so much for your wonderful email! I really appreciate it. And thanks for giving the old guy a little slack on repeating stories from time to time! it is kind of hard to keep track, since I do many workshops and presentations (just an excuse) and also since I am now elderly and half demented (the actual truth!) Fortunately, Fabrice, my Feeling Good Podcast host, gets confused too, and he is much younger, so that gives me some comfort and reassurance!
I do think that the work of TEAM-CBT is inherently spiritual, and people will tend to interpret their experiences in terms of their own religious beliefs. Since I was raised in the Lutheran Church, many of my own insights will have a Christian spin. But they are equally valid in all religions, including Jewish, Buddhist, Islamic, and so forth. Most of the deeper insights that get illuminated in an intensely personal way as people suddenly recover have been around for hundreds, or even thousands of years.
Fabrice and I have something special in store for you soon. Our second live therapy broadcasts will be based on an actual recorded therapy session with Marilyn, a dear friend and colleague facing catastrophic circumstances and a crisis in her faith (Catholic). I am calling the three podcasts based on this session the “Dark Night of the Soul,” a term you may be familiar with from the book, The Inner Eye of Love, which is all about Christian mysticism.
You may recall, if you’ve seen the book, there are a number of simple drawings on a man who is totally lost and demoralized in the forest in the snow, not knowing where to turn. Then, in the next drawing, he suddenly sees a footprint, indicating there may be a way out, or a way to get back home again. My memory is probably not entirely correct, but the theme has to do with having to go into totally darkness, and loss of faith, as a part of one’s spiritual journey.
So let me know what you think! It will be probably about five or so weeks from now before those three podcasts will be published.
And let me know what you think about my own (somewhat humorous) visitation from God while jogging that I described on the podcast! You will find out what God said to me, and how I responded! Fortunately, I learned that God has a good sense of humor.
If you are reading this blog on social media, I appreciate it! I would like to invite you to visit my website, http://www.FeelingGood.com, as well. There you will find a wealth of free goodies, including my Feeling Good blogs, my Feeling Good Podcasts with host, Dr. Fabrice Nye, and the Ask Dr. David blogs as well, along with announcements of upcoming workshops, and tons of resources for mental health professionals as well as patients!
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