In his book The Crisis in Psychiatry and Religion, O. Hobart Mowrer sharply rebukes evangelical Christianity for abdicating its authority in the field of mental health. Dr. Mowrer, a clinical psychologist at the University of Illinois and a former president of the American Psychological Association, charges further that the pastoral counseling movement has assimilated psychoanalytic theory despite its empirically proven impotence.
In postulating a need to integrate psychology and religion, Mowrer calls for a new concept of psychotherapy that is based on sin guilt, confession, and expiation. This major new approach, known as “integrity therapy,” views mental health in terms of personal moral or immoral behavior. John W. Drakeford has gathered the distinctives of integrity therapy under a series of postulates:
1. Integrity therapy rejects all deterministic theories which make man a victim of heredity, environment, or any other force. Every individual is answerable for himself, and exercises his responsibility in making his personal decisions.
2. Each person has a conscience which gives rise to guilt. This condition is not a sickness but a result of his wrongdoing and irresponsibility.
3. The typical self-defeating reaction to personal wrongdoing is concealment. In this secrecy, guilt throws up symptoms of varying degrees of severity, from vague discomfort to complete immobilization.
4. As secrecy brought on his trouble and separated him from his fellows, so openness with “significant others” is the individual’s first step on the road back to normality.
5. The process of socialization involves a group which could be called a microcosm or small world exercising both a corrective and supportive function for the growing individual.
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