Having Faith Makes Therapy More Effective
What’s the Latest Development?
A study of 159 men and women enrolled in cognitive behavioral therapy, which involved 10 day-long group sessions, has found that those patients who believed in God were more likely to receive the benefits of therapy—they were also more likely to believe therapy could result in a positive outcomes. “Patients who had higher levels of belief in God demonstrated more effects of treatment,” said the study’s lead author, David H. Rosmarin, a psychologist at McLean Hospital and director of the Center for Anxiety in New York. “They seemed to get more bang for their buck, so to speak.”
What’s the Big Idea?
Previous studies have found that individuals who attend church regularly—a strong sign of religious belief—have increased life expectancy and lower rates of depression. Randi McCabe, director of the Anxiety Treatment and Research Center at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Ontario, said, “People’s belief that something is going to work will make it work for a significant proportion of people,” similar to the placebo effect. “Your belief that you’re going to get better, your attitude, does influence how you feel.” Belief in something unwavering and eternal can become an important resource in times of ill health, emotional or physical.
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