What Leads to “Harmful Consequences”? –notes from Psychology class

Found some great reading by David G. Myers today in my psychology class…

[In counseling psychology] another area of potential value conflict is religion. Highly religious people may prefer and benefit from religiously similar therapists (Smith et al., 2007; Wade et al., 2006; Worthington et al., 1996). They may have trouble establishing an emotional bond with a therapist who does not share their values. Albert Ellis, who advocated an aggressive rational-emotive therapy, and Allen Bergin, co-editor of the Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change, illustrated how sharply such differences can affect a therapist’s view of a healthy person. Ellis (1980) assumed that “no one and nothing is supreme,” that “self-gratification” should be encouraged, and that “unequivocal love, commitment, service, and…fidelity to any interpersonal commitment, especially marriage, leads to harmful consequences.” Bergin (1980) assumed the opposite—that “because God is supreme, humility and the acceptance of divine authority are virtues,” that “self-control and committed love and self-sacrifice are to be encouraged,” and that “infidelity to any interpersonal commitment, especially marriage, leads to harmful consequences.”

                                                                                     – from Psychology in Everyday Life

That lesson is being applied by Stephen Ilardi and his colleagues (2008) in their training seminars promoting therapeutic lifestyle change. Human brains and bodies were designed for physical activity and social engagement, they note. Our ancestors hunted, gathered, and built in groups, with little evidence of disabling depression. Indeed, those whose way of life entails strenuous physical activity, strong community ties, sunlight exposure, and plenty of sleep (think of foraging bands in Papua New Guinea, or Amish farming communities in North America) rarely experience major depression. “Simply put: Humans were never designed for the sedentary, disengaged, socially isolated, poorly nourished, sleep-deprived pace of twenty-first-century American life.”

                                                                                    – from Exploring Psychology, Eight Edition


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