Essay on The Psychology of Religion

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The Psychology of Religion is composed of a variety of different perspectives, which in certain cases proves difficult in determining both the clinical and pastoral implications of a theory. Modern-day psychology has demonstrated possible beneficial results in religious spiritual individuals, however, much of the current research has avoided questioning the “real” presence of the Divine or a Higher Being. Although a century has passed since his undertaking of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud readily settled the question of religion by declaring it a form of mental illness. While Freud’s Psychology of Religion is that religion only exists as a neurosis, his view provides the three clinical implications of hypnotism, free association, and dream …show more content…
Although hypnotism did not become a mainstay in Freud’s psychoanalytic methods, he did recommend it as a personal way resolving neuroses, such as religion. Freud’s denouncement of hypnosis proved futile, as Ian Parker explains “Freud himself is still evidently using techniques like ‘hypnotic analysis’…[h]e thought…[his patient’s] new symptom could be cleared up quite quickly since the symptom…” , resulting from his perfected psychoanalytic techniques, “was so fresh” (377). Even though Freud’s adaptation of hypnosis mimicked the pathologic symptoms he readily condemned in Dr. Breuer’s hypnotism, his support of individual hypnotic pursuits remains as a clinical implication of his psychology of religion. Limited use of hypnotism is not the only clinical implication of Freud’s psychology of religion; the cathartic therapy known as free association is also a key method in curing the religion neurosis. While Freud was adamant about not using suggestive commentary, he still supported the use of pressure in psychoanalytic therapy, as he explains “ although the patient can rid himself of an hysterical symptom only after reproducing and uttering under emotion its casual pathogenic impressions, yet the therapeutic task merely consists in inducing him to do it” (“Selected Papers on Hysteria” 72). By minutely pressuring a patient past

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