Is Turning To God The Best Therapy?

A common view among religious people, particularly non-Jews, is that turning to God is the best therapy.

I spent my first 18 years in Seventh-Day Adventism (and off-shoots) and my last 22 years in Judaism. I’ve known hundreds of religious people. Very few of them were cured of their pressing psychological issues by religion.

God and religion are no more likely to shift your attachment style from avoidant to secure than they are to fix your broken leg or your diabetes. Belief in God won’t put gasoline in your car engine. It won’t pay your rent. It won’t fulfill your duties at work. People make a mistake when they expect God and religion to cure all. It’s ludicrous. Just look at the lives of the people who try that approach.

My general principle is that I look to experts. I look to historians for understanding about history, to doctors for help with medical matters, to therapists and psychologists for help with psychological matters, to Alexander Technique teachers for help for noticing my reactions to stimuli, and to rabbis for rulings on Jewish law. It would no more occur to me to get psycho-therapy from a rabbi with no training in psychology than to consult a car mechanic for help with a broken limb.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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