Religion as Psychotherapy in Psychosomatics

  1. Lemma
  2. Religija kao psihoterapija u psihosomatici
  3. Serbian
  4. Stevanovic, Aleksandra
  5. Scientific theories and disciplines - Scientific theories and disciplines > Psychology-Psychoanalysis
  6. 13-8-2016
  7. Jerotic, Vladeta [Author]. Psychotherapy and Religion. 220–225, Religion as Psychotherapy in Psychosomatics
  8. Psychotherapy and Religion - : Ars Libri, 2006.
    1. Jerotic, Vladeta
  9. psychotherapy and religion
    1. Chapter “Religion as Psychotherapy in Psychosomatics” is a book by Vladeta Jerotic, titled "Psychotherapy and Religion", stating that religion is a means of spiritual unity restoration and may represent a form of psychotherapy. It has already been proved that prayer plays a significant part in disease treatment. However, an active religious life would foster faster treatment and cure, according to Jerotic.   

      When it comes to psychotherapy and religion, three processes need to be considered: 1. intrapersonal – ego, individuality and emotional state of an individual and their representation in physical body (psychosomatic reactions); 2. interpersonal stage – social and religious affiliation, sense of community; 3. transpersonal stage – the one oriented towards human and universal plan that entails aspirations towards wholeness.

      What is Jerotic interested in is the place of “religious support” in these treatments. He explores two approaches. The first one includes a psychoterapist believer, that is, a religious psychoterapist that can, if necessary, propose moral values discussion to the patient. This is a risky approach since there should be a mutual relationship established and the possibility of religious or moral indoctrination is eliminated. The second approach is much simpler since an educated or religious psychoterapist is not necessary, but the presence of an experienced priest. The author states that in Serbia, it is just the beginning of such a practice that a priest is present in hospitals. It is merely a patient’s choice to demand a priest. The aim stressed by the author here is to achieve a mutual work by a priest and a psychoterapist in psychosomatic diseases treatment. It would be a fruitful encounter of religion and science, church and hospital in nurturing a new method of group psychiatry.

      Jerotic explains that this method needs to be considered thoroughly because threre are different psychosomatic diseases and different patients that might be reluctant to undergo such a holistic treatment: medical, psychoterapist and spiritual. So far, it has been proved that one-sided treatment of such diseases has not achieved desired aim and has sometimes even impaired the disease. Hence, a careful religious psychoterapy which directs patients into self-recognition of homo religiosus in themselves by the means of prayer may improve health condition. Moreover, future therapy would depend on the recognition of the relationship of body, soul and spirit.

      The paper by Jerotic fosters the possibility for a science–religion dialogue regarding a very important question – human health. It explores the necessity of cooperation among priests and psychoterapists that would struggle together in order to treat psychosomatic and probably other diseases as well, as long as they are based on a holistic approach.