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The New Fusion in Psychology
David H. Rosmarin, PhD, is the director of the Spirituality and Mental Health Program at McLean Hospital and an associate professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Rosmarin studies the relevance of spirituality to mental health, and he innovates methods for clinicians to address this area of life. He has published over 100 manuscripts, editorials, and chapters, and served as co-editor of the Handbook of Spirituality, Religion and Mental Health.
Adam Jacobs (AJ): Good afternoon, Dr. Rosmarin. It is so great to have you here today. Thank you for taking the time to be here and to talk with me. How are you doing?
David Rosmarin (DR): I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on your show.
(AJ): It's my pleasure. And I have been really I've been digging into your work and understanding what you call the connections paradigm, which if I had to summarize it, I would say is a method of psychology that encourages the non-corporeal part of the self to speak to the corporeal part. Is that a fair way of describing it?
(DR): Well, that's one part of it. It's certainly in your setting. It's really in the right ballpark.
(AJ): Okay. So you've treated many people this way. I'm about three quarters of the way through your book on the topic and am really enjoying the way that you help people based on this premise. I guess the first thing that came to my mind is how would you go about it if you wanted to help somebody in this way? And they basically said like, well, I just simply don't believe in a non-corporeal part of the self. What would you say to them? Would you try to make the case for it or would you just go in a different direction altogether?
(DR): Yeah. So let me be very clear at the outset that, you know, spiritual psychotherapy, which is really under the rubric under which this aspect of my practice and my research can be somewhat, you know, subsumed under is only for patients who want to have spirituality as a part of their treatment. And whether that's, like you said, speaking the body and the soul, speaking to each other, or having a perspective on relationships which has spiritual dimensions to it, or having a relationship with the divine, however that is perceived by the individual. All of that is fully within the decision of the patient to decide to either engage with or not. Just like all psychotherapy, really, all medical interventions to some degree are like this. Psychotherapy is certainly the case, and all the more so for spiritual psychotherapy.
(AJ): And do you mean, do you float it to them? Do you say like, listen, I've got this technique or this is part of what I offer? Do you have an interest in it? Do you like in other words, do you try to offer it to people or do you try to assess where they're at and see if this would be appropriate for them? How often does it happen that people just back off and say like, that sounds weird and no, thanks.
(DR): So I'm not in the curable world and I'm not trying to sell anything. I'm here to serve my patients. And usually people seek out either me or services that I mean, in this aspect of my career anyway, because they want spirituality to be part of it. What my data suggests, in fact, that more than half of psychiatric patients and that's even here in eastern Massachusetts, which is not exactly a hotbed of religious fundamentalism.
(AJ): Right. Right.
(DR): Yes. More than half of our patients want spirituality to be addressed in their treatment in various ways and having technologies to be able to do so, being ready so that when they ask questions, there are tools that are there. That's really the primary area in which I innovate and work. I'm not trying to sell people on anything that's not that's not it's not my bag.
(AJ): No, no, I understand that. I understand. I don't mean sell. If I said sell, I don't mean sell in terms of pushing. But I guess my question for you is, do you believe that that technique will be better for most people than one that doesn't incorporate spiritual ideas? Do you think that there needs to be ultimately a fusion of these two aspects of reality and psychology?
(DR): I think that patients often need it and want it. And for those patients who have such needs and wants, we as practitioners need to do a lot better of a job addressing spiritual and religious matters. In truth, when I was going through graduate school, I got no training in this at all. Very little. And aside from a couple of perfunctory questions, right, like which religion do you affiliate with? And then that was pretty much the end of the conversation to have with my patients. And over time, I've learned I've developed rather a series of technologies and questions to ask and ways to engage with patients around different matters of spirit. And some of those are better developed than others. Connections Paradigm is one example of something that's more fully developed and seems to be getting some traction with patients.
(AJ): So about 18 months ago or so, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Erica Komisar and Dr. David DeSanto, who are both people who have written about and speak about often what they feel is an absolute need for this to be incorporated into treatment for people. And you know, in the course of our conversations, I wondered at the efficacy of the, let's call it the classical psychological treatments. I note that there are people I mean, I know people who have been going for, quote unquote, what they call tune ups for four decades. They don't necessarily seem to be tackling the problems, but they go in like sort of mow the lawn a little bit, you know, and feel a little bit better about their conversation. And then they come back a week later. But like, it's been going on for many, many years. Do you think that the the perspective of classical psychology, maybe, you know, since Freud and the influence that he had, which, you know, very, very secular way of looking at the world, very material, materialistic, materialistic way of looking at the world, has stunted the possibility is within psychology in a way that this could your techniques could address?
(DR): I certainly know the first thing to say is that I have a colleague and a wonderful researcher who's doing some really fantastic work. I think now he's doing some really fascinating study on importing gratitude straight out of daily blessings, a Jewish tradition. Interesting how that looks in a secular context in the after effects of it, which is pretty, pretty innovative and really learning from spiritual and faith traditions in terms of what can impact us in this day. In this ostensibly secular age. And to that point, I think it answers your question about Freud. I do think that the clinical psychology in psychiatry, the bias, the anti-religious bias, there's been very clear throughout most of the history of the field, has stunted the opportunities that clinicians and patients have to use spirituality in a helpful and healthy way for those patients who want it. And at the times when it's most potentially clinically indicated, I don't know if that speaks to a broad spiritual need on the part of all patients, and I'm certainly not going to tell you that all depressed people need to have a spiritual approach in order to really deal with the fundamentals of what's going on for them. I don't think that's true. And I also have not seen that to be the case in my own work. However, I certainly have seen that many individuals do seek spiritual solutions. And the field, I think, should be developing them for such patients.
(AJ): Do you think that their practitioners need to believe it themselves?
(DR): No. My data suggest that clinicians who do not believe are better at providing spiritual psychotherapy than those who do.
(AJ): And why not. Are there papers on that? How would you explain that?
(DR): Well, there's a couple of options. One of them, which seems to be borne out in my data, is that secular clinicians who provide spiritual psychopathy or AP are particularly open minded and very dialectical in their approach. They're able to hold in their mind both the importance of change.
(AJ): Mm hmm.
(DR): Because in psychotherapy, you have the change, but also the importance of acceptance and understanding that people are as they are and when.
(DR): Because you have to sort of hold in your mind those opposites, which are hard. It's hard to live with that contradiction. And individuals who are secular and providing spiritual psychotherapy seem to be better at doing that. And they seem to provide that approach in delivering spiritual psychotherapy. And that seems to be the driving force according to one of the studies that we published.
(AJ): Okay. And what would they say is going on?
(DR): You know, would they just say, listen, you know, I'm this is another technique. The patient believes X, Y, and Z, and therefore I'm helping their brain to alter itself in such a way that they no longer experience this difficulty. But there is no actual transcendental thing occurring. You know, I don't know. I didn't ask the secular clinicians about how their own spirituality might have changed over the course of providing spiritual psychotherapy. I think that often people are open to the subject. They're like, This is an important part of life for many people. It's not for me, but I could see it would be important to my patients and I want to support their needs because, well, it's frankly an aspect of diversity, equity and inclusion and identity. And on those grounds alone, I see a lot of good in that, frankly.
(AJ): So do I. I love the direction overall, and I'm excited that it is being taken seriously in general. And it seems like to me more and more it is. And so the option is fantastic for people to be able to go down that path. I guess whether they, you know, in their guts, believe it or not, although, you know, given the premise of of this show and you know, where we're coming from with Beyond Belief, obviously I have a bias, which I'll admit, you know, which is I want people to at least be open to the possibility that there really is something going on here, that there really is a non-core part of the self that's communicating with the corporeal self. And now again, so I guess I am more in sales in that regard than you are. But, I'm not trying to push anything either. I want to present evidence and have people think about it, and I'm going to ask you some more spiritual slash theological questions in a moment. But actually on the right address, we'll have a great, great chat about it. I'm sure you are. Because of what you're doing and how you're writing about it and where it ultimately comes from. I think you are exactly the right address. But but before we get there, just give me one more minute on from a classical secular point of view, my assumption is that something is wrong with the brain when somebody comes and wants to be healed of a series of thoughts that they don't want or behaviors or whatever it is, what do we just simply say? Listen, there are some neural pathways, ways that are fuzed incorrectly and they have to be relearned. You have to, you have to be broken apart. The neuroplasticity concept and you relearned the behaviors by basically creating new connections. And that's what psychology ultimately is. Am I wrong in thinking that's ultimately what it's about?
(DR): No, it's a very biomedical explanation of modern psychotherapy. But I suppose some of my colleagues would agree with you. I think it's a little more dynamic than that. But.
(AJ): Okay. Yeah. So how would you explain the dynamic?
(DR): You know, there is an interaction between brain and behavior. And, you know, I think that not only do neural pathways change and do people's neural signals fire differently, but also when they do fire a certain way, the meaning of those is interpreted differently so people can have the same level of distress before and after treatment. But the distress means something else because they're not as distressed about the fact that they're distressed. Does that make sense when people have a panic attack? Does that mean it's the end of the world, or does it mean that, okay, I'm just having a struggle, I'm having a I'm suffering today and it's a hard day there is a chasm between those two approaches to one's own distress that is very difficult to quantify, but has massive, massive implications for mental health and wellness in this day and age. So I think it's there's there's it's much more complicated than just saying a top down by a biologic approach, which causes how we feel. There's a dynamic, which is what I was saying. But notwithstanding that, where were you going? That's it seems to me that there are there's an increase in anxiety, depression, suicide rates. There's obviously a cause for what we're seeing. There are multiple, you know, a series of causes. I know that it's being explored all the time. I don't know if there's one definitive reason. Some people say it's technology. Some people, you know, the barrage of information that we have. But I do subjectively think a part of it is a detachment, from what I would say is described as a spiritual, transcendent reality, which is part of our makeup as human beings. And by being so divorced from a sense of of that and all the implications behind it, you know, the the, the ability of the consciousness to continue after death, which, of course, is tremendously comforting to people in theory, you know, to the meaning of life to to to purpose in life, if that's all cut off, it seems to me I think the natural reaction is to be extremely anxious and depressed, you know, and therefore to to have any technique, whether it's educational, you know, introducing people to the concept that maybe there's a reason to take this seriously overall or to do what you're doing, you know, which is to to introduce these two sides of a person to each other, which I think is as a as a wild and remarkable way to go.
(AJ): Which I'm going to ask you about in a second, is of critical importance for the well-being of humanity. That's I wouldn't say it any less than that.
(DR): Listen, I would agree with you that spiritual depression traditions have a lot to teach us in this day and age, and that the secularization of society has contributed in, in many ways, to the epic degree of distress that human beings are experiencing today. With that said, it's more complicated and nuanced.
(DR): On a day to day basis. And I certainly wouldn't want to simply prescribe a spiritual solution to or a single spiritual solution, I should say, when people are very multifaceted and complex and have many pathways to both distress and to wellness.
(AJ): Fair enough. Fair enough. Let's talk for a minute about this dialogue that you encourage people to do from what I understand, and maybe you can explain it for the audience, but you have a person's body speak to their soul for lack of a better term.
(AJ): And it and they have so they have this dialog and the to express their needs and and sort of work on a partnership is how I would describe it of how they could both get along better. So part of my question is if you could just fill that out a little bit in what you're trying to go for and also part B is do you believe personally that they are actually communicating?
(AJ): Or is this or is this a part of a function that's taking place in the brain that there are somehow two elements of brain function and those need to communicate in order to be healthy?
(DR): Sure. Okay. So first, with regard to the first or part of the question, human beings speak to themselves all the time and it's usually not a nice conversation. It's usually like you look fat or that was the dumbest thing anybody would have possibly said or What's wrong with you? Why are you so lazy? And typically there isn't a lot of back and forth. It's just these one line jabs, and that's usually the end of the conversation. People don't typically say, Hey, great job, or Hey, that was really tough. Like a validation kind of comment. People don't usually appreciate what their body goes through and they don't look for those moments of quiet when they can cultivate a relationship with themselves. The body soul language which comes from a spiritual framework, comes from a Torah framework that I think is very powerful. Personally, I do believe that human beings have a spiritual quality to them. I don't think you're going to find that in an MRI paradigm. I don't think you're going to be able to detect it using scientific processes. But I do believe that it's there. We do see this as one example. A dead body is inanimate as opposed to a live body where ostensibly the soul is inside is animate and at least breathing, but often conscious and and many more, many more different facets of that. That's a very crude example, but it's one that just is popping into my mind. But I do think that by cultivating a better relationship with ourselves, whether it's self-compassion, self understanding, an understanding of spiritual as well as physical needs and learning how to navigate that through improving our relationship and our dynamics with ourselves is fundamental. It's a fundamental aspect of being human and it's something that I've been very fortunate to have spiritual mentors who have taught me about, and I have a tradition which has benefited me personally, and I've been passing that on to my patients to the extent that they wish to engage with us.
(AJ): Mm hmm. One of the interesting things that popped into my head as I was reading your book is and I think it makes total sense. You encourage, as you were just saying, you encourage your soul to be nice to your body, you know, and to sort of like understand it and understand its limitations. You know, if the body soul paradigm is as it was recorded in spiritual traditions, the soul is much more powerful, but it's also much more limited by its, you know, its implantation in the body. And so it's sort of like this uncomfortable relationship in a very awkward relationship where they have to sort of learn to, like, deal with each other. And there are limitations for where they're at.
(DR): I don't think it has to be uncomfortable. It actually can be a source of thriving. People can learn to be perfectly happy with the fact that their body isn't as strong, isn't as smart, isn't as quick, isn't as beautiful as they have an image. If they learn to accept that and to really be okay with who they are, they can thrive. I'm going to pull something up on my screen. I have a quote from one of my patients Many years ago. She was just grappling with an eating disorder and she was herself a religious, young religious woman. And we started talking about this concept of the body and the soul and having a better relationship with each other. And one day it was like she was very challenged to come up with this, to integrate this idea that she had to be kind to her own body. And one day she sent me an email and it was so important that I took a screenshot of it and I literally have it on my desktop. So I read part of it. It's not about loving myself because of how I look or how I feel. It's about loving myself because that's what my nation, my soul is here to do. It's taking care of my body. I can't love and take care of her based on how she looks, feels or even how well she follows my directions. Since all of those are conditional, I need to take care of her, provide for her all of her needs and love her just because she's mine.
(DR): This young woman, she's thriving. She's thriving. It didn't only tackle her eating disorder and depression and anxiety, but her whole relationship with herself changed as a result of these conversations and this improved relationship between her body and her soul.
(AJ): That's very nice and obviously is evidence that this works for some.
(DR): For some, yeah.
(AJ): No, but that's very inspiring. And eating disorders are also rampant and current. And very difficult to treat, by the way. Yeah. So kudos to you for that and I hope you help many more people. But the question of being kind to your body, which again, I understand very well sometimes it seems to me that that spiritual path wants to encourage the opposite. I would say that they want to push the body. So for instance, and I Googled this last night, some like Shallal and Monk training, and those guys are killing their bodies like litter. You know, they're they are putting it through what I would describe as, you know, torture for every day, for, you know, years on end. And what they claim is that they have mastered it. You know, that they're impervious to pain, They're impervious to fear, that they're very strong and they feel very happy, you know, and balanced as a result. And they're not alone in that. You know, in our tradition, too, you know, there are paths that say, you know, reduce your dependency on everything that's material and allow your soul to thrive and to express itself. And we have many practices from, you know, from fasting to praying all kinds of things that encourage that dynamic. So is there an appropriate time not to be sort of, quote unquote, kind to your body in that comforting sort of way, but to dry it until it obeys, you know, or it gets out of the way?
(DR): Is that never an appropriate path? And in today's day and age. Here's where the language gets really important. So driving it until it obeys, I wouldn't recommend that one. What I would recommend is delineating a path, even though it's difficult and encouraging the body to take that on voluntarily and helping it to recognize the strength and the importance of suffering, struggling in order to grow and in order to become stronger. So one of my hobbies is running marathons. I just completed my 10th marathon in Philly a couple of weeks ago. Wow. And I will tell you that it is not easy after mile 20 to even reformat, but after my burn, the wheels come off every time. Doesn't matter how well you train, it doesn't matter what the weather's like, how well you've carb loaded, it doesn't matter. It's going to be super fast for that. However long it is or whatever it is, whatever your whatever your paces. So why on earth would someone run a marathon? Why are there tens of thousands of people at many, many large marathons? Especially the Boston one with that last part?
(AJ): Well, yeah, right. Yeah.
(DR): So why would people do this? And the answer is that if the soul has done a good job taking care of the body, we're not talking about driving it to obey. We're talking about leading it to the starting line, saying, you can do this, I'm in your corner. I have given you training, I have fed you. We got this. We can do this together. And the body comes out of the experience, even though it's hard. And maybe because it's hard, it comes out feeling better for it. But that's a voluntary process that the body goes through. It's not the kind of thing that we force it. Usually when people are forcing their bodies to do things. In this day and age, I mean, certainly I think American culture does this all the time. Sleep deprivation, caloric deprivation, you know, and then it leads to overindulgence. Is that the lack of balance that we see and so many aspects of psychopathology occur specifically because of those processes. This paradigm, this way of relating to the body and soul reverses a lot of that by being kind and then by encouraging the body to voluntarily take on those stresses. Chapter four speaks about this, by the way, in chapter four, Chapter five, the last chapter in the first section of Connections Paradigm is about the body taking on difficulties and doing so voluntarily, which is very different. If you're doing it voluntarily, then whether when you're coerced out. What does it look like for it to take it on voluntarily? I'll tell you.
(DR): So phobias, specific phobias, fears of spiders, fears of driving, fears of flying, fears of you name it. The tried and tested way to deal with phobias and other anxiety disorders as well. It's called things. It's called exposure therapy. Exposure therapy for if you have never heard of it.
(AJ): I have.
(DR): It sounds like you expose yourself to the fear. So if somebody is afraid of spiders, we start them with still images. Then we move to video images, then we move to lots of larger video images. Then we look at spiders behind a screen or behind a cage, and eventually you've got a tarantula on your arm right?
(AJ): I remember that chapter. That woman was very scared.
(DR): They're terrified. I've had patients almost vomit in my office because they're so afraid. And that's okay as long as the body is doing it voluntarily for the purposes of growth and it's been onboarded, it's not I would never force my patients into the trunk of a car if they have claustrophobia, but I might encourage them to walk into a closet and stay there for a little while. I would encourage them, absolutely. But it's not demeaning and it's not involuntary. That's not that, that's not connections. Connections are about what can I get my body? Can I encourage my body with love to want to change, not to force it to change. I could be ascribing something to the shuttle and monks and to Navy SEALs and people like that. But they don't actually feel maybe they do feel like they're doing this with love. It's just the way it comes across is that it's so extreme that I can't imagine the body being willing to go along with it. You know, in some cases. Incredibly, those are not within the tradition that you have. Those might be different approaches to dealing with oneself that actually are short lived and not necessarily that most optimal technology is to having a balanced, healthy, emotionally and physically healthy life today. Right?
(AJ): Yeah, I hear that. I hear that.
(DR): And either way, it's always inspiring, I think, to see people who overcome especially their deepest fears. And I certainly have read accounts of people who have gone to great lengths to do that. You know, Gordon Liddy was the guy who was responsible for the Watergate break in. And it was a little bit of a nut. But also when he was a kid, he had a lot of fears. And two of them were afraid of lightning storms. And he was also afraid of heights, which are common ones. But in order to solve that, he climbed up a tree in his backyard in New Jersey to the very top and in the middle of a lightning storm and and let go of the tree and put his and put his arms in the air and and faced it face the storm, you know. And he said that when he came down, he no longer had either of those fears ever again. And of course, it takes an incredible amount of bravery. And in this system, the bravery is credited to the body because ostensibly the soul does not have those kinds of fears.
(AJ): Okay. So one of the interesting things that I did think about this, although in reading your material, is it almost sounds that the soul can have faults as well, that the soul can be impatient or or demanding or or in your understanding, is it that the soul actually has deficiencies or is it more of a pristine thing that is not translating well into our reality because of the, you know, the interference from physicality?
(DR): This is a really important question, and I've spoken to a number of people within the Jewish world today who could, let's just say rightfully be called serious about this matter. And uniformly among those said sages, I have been told something along the lines, and I am paraphrasing, that if the soul wasn't imperfect, why would it have to come to this world? Okay, the soul has a lot to learn about how to inject, how to inject a sense of spirituality, and also how to lead the body, which is so imperfect to to a state of perfection over time, to have a long term approach, to not force it, to not lose patience, to not break free. Now we see this mostly in interpersonal relationships where you're like, That person's nuts, forget it, I'm done. But people do that also to themselves. They give up on themselves. People give up on themselves all the time. And that's not a problem of the body as much as it's a problem of the soul. Because I have a certain set of spiritual objectives in my life. And if I'm going to say, you know what, my body is just not going to be able to do that, I'm done. That's really my soul. Giving up on its job, if you will, to be patient and to courageously, frankly, encourage and stay with my imperfect body and let them, you know, help them to to move towards perfection in a slow and methodical manner. The self-criticism, the unrelenting self-criticism. You should have done that. Why didn't you do that? You're so dumb. You're so fat. Where does that come from? In some ways, it's a holy thing. People are like, you're not pristine enough, you're not sharp enough, you're not doing enough, you're not working hard enough. And even if it's well-intended, though, even if it's tomorrow or pure, the intentions, the impact can be devastating, devastating and literally lead to psychopathology in many cases. And you're and you're saying that's a soul thing. That's the…
(AJ): Oh, yeah, big time.
(DR): Both of them have work to do. Because it makes perfect sense. Like we asked, why would a soul come into this world unless it was going to be trained? And obviously, in many traditions, we look at this as this world is the training ground for the soul, you know, preparing it for its return home, you know, hopefully improved and perfected, although I will say that. And that's got to be the case. But I would say that 90% of the blame is laid at the feet of the body for our negative behavior, including our emotions.
(AJ): Would you say that the body is responsible for the emotional state?
(DR): No, I don't think firstly, I don't think 90% of the blame is on the body at all. And secondly, I don't think, especially when it comes to the emotions, if anybody has a bigger role to play, it's probably the soul and setting the bar too high as opposed to and I shouldn't say setting the bar too high, it's setting the bar too high too early. Okay, We do this in education all the time where educators will not meet the student where they're at, and they're not really moving them along where they need to be. They're setting a bar, which is way too high. The kid's feeling they're getting frustrated and then they blame the kid. Like, whose fault is that? Teacher? Sorry. And, you know, I think that when it comes to the soul, we have to really start with a solid assessment. And this kind of goes back to the beginning of our conversation. You know, do I blame my patients if they're not interested in spiritual psychotherapy? Like, certainly not. You know, I'm not even trying to sell it to them. I'm just aware that that's often a need and commonly needed and providing those tools when they're ready and making it available to them so that way they can come and when they do, they come in droves. Our last trial of spiritual psychotherapy at our hospital enrolls 1400 patients.
(AJ): Wow. And what is that?
(DR): Participated voluntarily.
(AJ): Wow. And what is the hospital's response to all of this? What do they think about it? How has it been received in the academy?
(DR): The academy or the admin? Firstly, I'm very blessed to work where I do at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. The administration has been extremely supportive because this is driven by patient needs and that's been the case the entire time. It's a matter of catering to what the patients want, what the patients need, the entire that's that's the whole goal of the program. In terms of the academy, there's been some good responses, obviously, you know, some push back. But that's natural and normal and even healthy within an academic setting. But, you know, the American Psychiatric Association was the publishing agent for the last several papers that we published on our spiritual psychotherapy trial. So I think that's a good sign. Things are different than they used to be. That people are more open.
(AJ): You're saying that's moved in towards your way of thinking?
(DR): Yeah, something like that.
(AJ): What, what would you say? I've got time for two more questions. I see. What would you say is the most dramatic change that you've seen in somebody using this paradigm? I mean, you gave a very good example of the eating disorder and of the, you know, getting over the phobia of spiders. But which one takes the cake?
(DR): There's so many stories. I'll just tell you what's coming to my mind. Ten to top of my mind. I don't know if it's the, you know, the best story I have, but it's you know, there's a profoundly depressed middle aged man who came to our hospital and he was there for six weeks in a program that's usually a two week program. And all the king's horses and all the king's men, we're trying to help this individual with pharmacological approaches, lots of medicine, lots of lots of different medicines that he was taking, different psychotherapies he was taking. And in fact, by the time I was called in for a consultation, he had 22 psychiatric medications. I kid you not 22 psychiatric medications in the system.
(AJ): Wow. I didn't even know there were 22.
(DR): But yeah, lots of well, and the cascading things like adding metformin as a weight loss because certain things would increase his weight and.
(DR): Yeah. Anyhow, it was a very complicated medical and psychiatric situation. The clinical team knew that there were two things going well for him in his family and his faith. And when it came to his family, they had some ideas, but when it came to his faith, they had no clue. So they called me up and I came in for a consultation and we hit it off. And he was being so cruel to him. So I would say his soul was being extremely cruel to his body, setting the bar super high and so much so that his body was actually not even engaging in anything spiritual at all, which left a real void for him, because this was one area that he wanted to engage in. So we had not only body soul conversations, but me and him conversations about spirituality and about his and about his life and about his history. And we got in pretty deep. And I will tell you, he had a complete turnaround. He ended up walking out of the hospital, mild depression from severe and like acutely suicidal. I'm still in touch with him. I'm still in touch with him to this very day. And yes, there are issues. Yes, he grapples with mood issues. Yes, there's family stuff. It's not obviously, you know, a cure all, but his life is dramatically different than what it used to be. And he attributed it to his spirituality, the integration of spirituality into psychiatric care.
(AJ): That's inspiring and encouraging and actually ties in very well to my last question, which is, do you see this as the future of psychology? Do you think that this is where things are going and that more and more people are going to adopt it or versions of it? And, you know, so what's going to happen the next ten years vis a vis this way of thinking?
(DR): So I don't purport to know or predict the future. I’ll tell you that I see two encouraging two encouraging indications. First is that during the pandemic, people gravitated towards spirituality in a very significant way because we all need ways of coping with uncertainty and spiritual and religious traditions are probably the oldest trick in the book when it comes to dealing with the anxiety associated with uncertainty.
(DR): So much so that many of my colleagues stayed. The center included Lisa Miller of Columbia and many others would say that this is a natural need. To your point, that people are, you know, do better if they exercise and engage with just as a matter of fact, there's another thing, though, that I think is sort of more more developmental. If you look at the first history of mental health treatment it's very brief, It's very young. It's a young science. Sigmund Freud was barely a hundred years ago, just over a hundred years ago, rather. And you know, all in all, there was a starting with people's relationships with themselves to some degree. And now we see that in couples therapy and in relational therapy. The spiritual dimension in some ways is like the natural next evolution step out of the field. So I do see there being an outgrowth. There also is an increase in research, also in research in high and high impact journals, not only relegated to the sidelines of the field. So all of those are encouraging science. So I don't know what the next ten years will hold, but I do think that there will be a continued demand on the part of patients for spiritual solutions, and that in of itself will behoove individuals like myself and my colleagues to create them.
(AJ): Well, Dr. Rosmarin, that is a really fascinating and inspiring account. It was really a pleasure to read about what you're doing. And I, I was inspired by how many people you help and how many people the system helps. And I really wish you really great success and that I hope that it reverberates the impact of what you're doing really across the country, the country and the world. And so, God willing, you know, there would be a lot of healing available to people. That was not before. And so you're doing an amazing job. So, again, kudos to you. Thank you so much for being here and taking the time to speak with me today. And for everybody who's watching, please take a moment to like our YouTube channel and visit our blog at Beyond Belief Blog. Please check out there's a great amount of great writing, great content there, like Share, subscribe, be part of it. And again, Doctor, thank you so much for being here today.
(DR): Thank you.
(AJ): Have a great day.