Century Marks

Mind over matter: Once an outspoken critic of popular psychology, Paul C. Vitz thinks the discipline has changed for the better over the past 20 years as Freudian psychology, with its exaggerated claims to be scientific, has waned. Therapeutic psychology has recovered its humanistic roots, and may even be considered a subdiscipline of philosophy, as in the premodern era. Further, psychology has moved away from a preoccupation with traumas and pathologies—which tended to foster a victim mentality—toward an emphasis on traits (they could be called virtues) that promote happiness and well-being. Whereas religion was once viewed by many psychologists as infantile and pathological, research has demonstrated that religious people tend to be happier and healthier and to live longer (First Things, March).

 

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