Monday, January 11, 2010

Healing mind, body, and soul

The New York Times Magazine has a fascinating and thought-provoking article, The Americanization of Mental Illness . The last paragraph reads:
If our rising need for mental-health services does indeed spring from a breakdown of meaning, our insistence that the rest of the world think like us may be all the more problematic. Offering the latest Western mental-health theories, treatments and categories in an attempt to ameliorate the psychological stress sparked by modernization and globalization is not a solution; it may be part of the problem. When we undermine local conceptions of the self and modes of healing, we may be speeding along the disorienting changes that are at the very heart of much of the world’s mental distress.
What is a person? What is a self? Can we partition mind, body, and soul? Can we reduce everything to biochemistry? No. People are complex and cannot be viewed out of the context of families, communities, and cultures. A Biblical world view should lead to a humble, holistic and culturally sensitive approach to mental health.

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