chapter  SIXTEEN
16 Pages

Psychotherapy and religion

ByNeville Symington

The psychotherapy movement is a violent protest against Calvinistic religion. People are all familiar with the moral strictures of the Victorian Age. These strictures reached an alarming severity in all matters pertaining to sex. It was, for instance, extremely shameful when an unmarried girl became pregnant. The originator of severe piety was, with little doubt, John Calvin. His theocratic rule in Geneva would be hard to believe were it not for the fact that it is well documented. The modern movement of psychotherapy represents a violent reaction against these puritanical attitudes. Psychotherapy endorses a different attitude: one of understanding, of empathy, the neutral stance, one of acceptance. The spirituality of traditional religion is founded upon the fuga mundi—flight from the world. It was certainly not so of primitive religions, which are usually tribally based and hitched to the survival instinct.