Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Belief in God Brings Better Therapeutic Outcomes

Weko Beach on Lake Michigan, Bridgeman, Michigan

See today's nytimes article "How Faith Can Affect Therapy." The bullets are:

  • Participants in a cognitive behavioral therapy program were asked to answer a single question: "To what extent do you believe in God."
  • The results were published in The Journal of Affective Disorders.
  • About 60 percent of the participants were being treated for depression, while others had bipolar disorder, anxiety or other diagnoses.
  • Over all, those who rated their spiritual belief as most important to them appeared to be less depressed after treatment than those with little or no belief. They also appeared less likely to engage in self-harming behaviors.
  • 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.”
  • An earlier yearlong study by Dr. [Marilyn] Baetz and her colleagues found that people with panic disorder who rated religion as “very important” to them responded better to cognitive behavioral therapy, showing less stress and anxiety, than those who rated religion as less important. (Baetz is a psychiatrist at the University of Saskatchewan who studies the effects of religion and spirituality on mental health.)