The role of faith when under stress or when A person of faith is the answer.


In the Journal of Clinical Psychology (2012)  there is a an article about Religious Distress  & Coping of Stressful Life events.  It makes some interesting distinctions about “good religious piety” and “bad religious habits”.

 Positive religious coping strategies are  seeking support and a closer relationship with the Deity, forgiving others and seeking forgiveness for one’s own failings, working together with God to solve problems, and viewing the stressor as an opportunity for spiritual growth.  

The article never refers to either a God or goddess.  A nongender Diety is as close as we get, but most of the article is really about “one’s Higher Power” which i think is so ridiculous, I’m changing it to God.

Negative religious coping strategies include using God as punishing or abandoning operator and  appraising one’s community of faith/clergy as unsatisfactory, as a demonic force.  Another bad trait is questioning the power of  God  doing these things actually increases the stressor.

One of religions main powers is giving the religious person “confidence” that whatever they have done wrong has been forgiven, but not all religious grant that and religions and belief systems that do not, actually increase the person’s spiritual problems, increase their suicidal tendencies and cause major dichotomies within the person’s psyche.

While prayer seems like a good coping strategy , if is is “passive” it does not work…”passive prayer” is talking to a Higher Self that is not interested, does not respond, or worst of all, punishes you severely for your problem all of which seems to cause major PTSD symptoms in the believer.

Most of the “stressors” in the study were sudden death of a loved one, accidents and natural disasters.  After  that there were ‘chronic” stresses like child abuse and life threatening illness.  In conclusion the article states, that clinicians trying to take on the role of a religious person actually hurts the situation more than helps.  So believe it or not, there are times that is better for you to seek out a clergyman than a shrink.