Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Do Spiritual Beliefs Influence our Mental Health?

Last May I signed up for an environmental psychology class with Professor Jeffrey Kiehl at Pacifica Graduate Institute. The sustainability side was fascinating but what I enjoyed most was the introduction to Jungian and depth psychology. 

We looked at the effect that unconscious archetypes have on mental health at a group level and how these archetypes are expressed in religions, narratives and cultural identities. 


Our spiritual beliefs play a big role in how we connect with the unconscious, with each other and with the planet. 

For example, ancient belief systems often attributed certain behaviors to the influence of gods and goddesses like Venus, Mars or Cupid. When a person acted out that part of their psyche in a way that was disfunctional or disruptive (maybe too much jealousy, fear or ambition), they had a conceptual framework that could be used to describe how they were feeling as well as clarity on what needed healing. If my competitive nature got the best of me, I could easily say “I am being influenced by Mars, and I need to do something about it” 

Whether we saw that Mars energy as external and supernatural, or internal and subconscious didn’t matter. Only that we worked through those feelings. The rise of monotheistic religions has had the unintended consequence of eliminating this pathway to healing and integrating the psyche; as we learned in class, the world has actually seen a rise in psychological and emotional problems. 

This isn’t to say that everyone needs to be pagan or polytheistic. I personlly feel that most religious beliefs were meant to be symbolic and not literal, connecting with a Higher Power through our imagination and our intuition. But the mental health tendency does highlight a need to connect with the psyche and the unconscious. We can do this with energy healing, art therapy and tarot. Astrology also gives us a way to explore the unconscious and our emotional lives. 

Obviously counseling works! After thinking about it for eight years, I have finally decided to apply to a masters degree in counseling psychology with an emphasis on Jung. In time I hope to combine counseling with the energy healing techniques in my books

Reiki hugs, 

Regina 


ps ... If you are interested in sustainability, professor Kiehl has a book called Facing Climate Change that expands on the themes from class. To the dismay of scientists everywhere, apparently the parts of the brain that are involved in decision-making are emotional, not rational. You could share facts for 140 years without getting much of a response. We need to think about empathy, storytelling an community-building. 


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Regina Chouza is an Energy Healer, Angel Medium and author of A Personal Guide to Self-Healing, Cancer & Love and Chakra Healing & Magick. She studied angels, tarot and astrology at The College of Psychic Studies in London, and qualified as an Energy Healer at the School of Intuition & Healing UK. Blogging since 2010, Regina's passion is bringing the qualities of love, joy and empowerment to healing pursuits. 



Image: www.Canva.com

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