Biblical Psychotherapy

Scholars who use Torah without being religious can come to surprising insights. The famous Jewish neurologist Sigmund Freud, for example, often used Biblical insights in his psychotherapy and he particularly liked the person of Biblical Joseph. Freud considered religion as a danger to the personality that could lead to neuroses.

In the Jerusalem Post of May 27, 2019, Raymond S. Solomon writes about an important book: Biblical Psychotherapy (see below). The writers are famous contemporary psychotherapists. Among other things, they write about the difference in medicine between the use of Torah and a Greek method of medicine. The Greek approach is to treat all diseases separately. The Jewish approach is one in which the doctor is assigned to the patient by God to ensure that the patient becomes healthy again. He or she is a guardian of God’s designated life guardian and of course this is the most ideal idea from Torah perspective.

Solomon also writes about motherhood in the Greek model of thought. He writes: Oedipus’ mother sent the child away to be exposed to natural violence and to find death. Here we see a great contrast with Moses’ mother: she sends her child Moses away to save him and not be killed by Pharaoh. Taking care of others is very important in Torah and in Jewish lessons.

Kaplan and Cantz, the writers, realize that patients have different beliefs, but they state that Biblical stories have a truth and meaning that transcend theological differences. They argue that the founders of the State of Israel were all not religious, but all did study the Bible and use it in decisions that often proved crucial to the emergence and survival of the State of Israel: they ensured that the Hebrew language was developed for daily use, they learned from the Bible the history and prophecies and geography of the Holy Land, agriculture and military strategies and other necessities, the Biblical food laws.

Why won’t we use it in psychotherapy and even psychopharmacology. Biblical Psychotherapy is important to prevent the growth of euthanasia and other life-threatening ideas of people. This book can bring hope to patients and psychotherapists.(Biblical Psychotherapy: Reclaiming Scriptural Narratives for Positive Psychology and Suicide Prevention. Authors: Kalman J. Kaplan and Paul Cantz).