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Psychology


There Is a Shrink in Gilead: The Church and Mental Health

When it comes to the treatment of mental health, many of the therapeutic approaches taken today tend to be highly individualized. The afflicted person goes (alone) to see a therapist, who provides a resources or insight to aid the patient. The broad successes of this approach speaks for itself. Mental health professionals so often see […]

Ancient Samaritans and 70s Seminarians

It was curious to me that the first Christians didn’t see the parable of the Good Samaritan as a purely ethical mandate. I’m talking about the oft maligned, rarely approved interpretation of the Good Samaritan parable that nearly every early church father embraced. If you dabble in the waters of church history, then you know […]

How Phobia Has Made Me Think About Fear

Thankful for this one from Joey Jekel. But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; […]

Merton, Depression, and Therapy

I’m an individualist who protects himself with information. That’s what the Enneagram tells me, or what my friends who’ve studied it tell me it tells me. I used to resent personality tests—you can’t put me in a box!—but then the personality test explained why I resented them in the first place—because I want to be […]

Who Wrote Gullible on the Ceiling? On Mesmerism, Debunking, and Belief

On a blog like this one, we think about belief a lot. Belief as a comfort, as a maker of meaning, as a fragile gift, as an absence. By which we mainly mean belief in the Gospel. Let’s shift focus for a moment to consider this orientation of the mind (and heart) from a slightly […]

From The New Yorker: Your New Generalized-Anxiety Home-Security System

Some excerpts from Riane Konc’s inspired recent contribution to The New Yorker’s Daily Shout’s column, ht SB: Hello, and thank you for your recent purchase of a Generalized-Anxiety Home-Security System. The Generalized-Anxiety Home-Security System is one of the most popular products on the market, with forty million customers in the United States alone… To get […]

If I Can Just Understand the Arrival Fallacy, I’ll Be Happy

The latest ‘gimme’ from the world of social science has, er, arrived. I’m referring to the Arrival Fallacy, “the illusion that once we make it, once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness.” Earlier this week The NY Times devoted a whole column to this familiar dynamic, A.C. Shilton’s […]

Prisons of Sadness and a Love Much Greater Than Evolution Requires

I was going to save this for tomorrow’s Another Week Ends column, but it’s just too good not to highlight all on its own. I’m referring to the sermon that author and journalist Michael Gerson gave at The National Cathedral this past Sunday. He opens with the admission that he’d missed the initial preaching date […]

The Trauma of Decadent Religion (and the Best Worst S-Word)

The notion of sin dominated my girlhood. Raised in Indiana by fundamentalist parents, sin was the inflexible yardstick by which I was measured. Actions, words, even thoughts weren’t safe from scrutiny. The list of sinful offenses seemed infinite: listening to secular music or watching secular television, saying “gosh” or “darn” or “jeez,” questioning authorities, envying […]

For Unto [Every Type] Is Born a Savior

This one comes to us from Clayton Hornback. These days it seems you can throw a rock and hit a self-professed Enneagram guru. For those of you living under a rock, the Enneagram is a personality profile made up of nine different “Types.” Each person’s primary personality falls somewhere from 1 to 9. For the […]

Preoccupations: Painting Ponds or Hiding Sea Monsters?

In The Crown’s retelling of British history, we find Winston Churchill having his portrait painted by the royal family’s artist Graham Sutherland. Though the show’s writers have surely taken liberties to imagine how these more intimate moments would have gone, they present a scene that is a poignant depiction of how profoundly art can function […]

A New Recipe: Grace in Family Life

This is an edited version of a talk given by the famed child psychologist, Dorothy Martyn, at the second annual Mockingbird Conference in 2009 and republished in our most recent issue of the magazine, the Deja Vu Issue. She died in January 2018. I suppose that you are, in some way or another, engaged in […]