Perfectionism in Religion and Psychotherapy Or: On Discerning the Spirits

Volume
Volume 4
Issue
Winter 1976
Title
Perfectionism in Religion and Psychotherapy Or: On Discerning the Spirits
Abstract

Taking the Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith's controversial King Follett Sermon as an expression of endemic American perfectionist strivings, the author suggests that perfectionism may be the conscious expression of its unacknowledged opposite - despair. The problem of perfectionism constantly emerges both in American religion and more recently in American psychology where it is apt to take on a cultist dimension in the newer therapies. The inheritance of the Age of Reason propels the various therapies to disguise their philosophical/theological assumptions in a cover of secularized science. Perfectionism and adulation of "science" can lead to antinomianism cloaked in professional garb if psychotherapists fail to recognize the limitations of science, the presence of a faith system in all therapy, and the possibility that psychotherapy at its best is an art with a scientific base. The danger of scientific professionalism is likened to a failure to discern the spirits.

Author
F.H. Touchet
Pages
25 - 33
Price
Add to Cart $5.00