Psychologist Dorothy Rowe: “Churches keep me in business”

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by Neil Godfrey

One of my favourite interviewers, Philip Adams, discusses the role of religion in depressive disorders with world renowned psychologist, Dorothy Rowe.

She spends a lot of time talking with her patients, not only about their problems, but about their philosophy of life – which is unusual in a psychologist. But for her it’s essential because she says that our ideas about life and death, the afterlife, about good and evil, are the window to our sense of self. And much of our unhappiness stems from having an insecure sense of self.

Download the podcast (about 12 MB and about 15 or 20 minutes of discussion) and check the blurb here.

Some clients, she says, can’t be cured because the rewards from their belief systems and consequent depression are too great for them to change. Clients of different belief systems become depressed in different ways. But the root of it all is the sense of sin and guilt and unworthiness that churches inculcate.

Dorothy’s website: http://dorothyrowe.com.au/

Philip Adams interview and podcast:  http://www.abc.net.au/rn/latenightlive/stories/2008/2413425.htm

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Neil Godfrey

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3 thoughts on “Psychologist Dorothy Rowe: “Churches keep me in business””

  1. I loved Dorothy’s observation that a child does not need a reason for living because life is so interesting as it is. It is only after we are punished for our interest and lose it that we need to find a reason to live.

    I also loved the interviewer’s comment that the fact of death can be a real stimulous for a fulfilling life, but that religion messes this up so it is something to be denied or leads to despair or to the notion that this life has lesser value.

    1. hey, don’t rush me! 😉

      moving jobs and moving from Australia to Singapore and all the changes and settling in and learning curves and extra weekend sleep required from extraordinarily stress filled weekdays . . . — and worst of all I have had to leave the bulk of my personal library back in Australia (now that really hurts!)

      but wow, today is the first day in 2 months i have actually looked at this blog, and i am very flattered and encouraged to see that it has still been attracting over 5000 hits (not visits) monthly even though I haven’t touched it in that time — look forward to getting back to this now that from this weekend i finally have a normal internet home access and have established some normal routines.

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