A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Therapist

As Bahá’u’lláh has urged us to avail ourselves of the help of good physicians, Bahá’ís certainly are not only free to turn to psychiatry for assistance but should, when available, do so. The mind, then, with all its aberrancies, may often favourably be influenced by scientifically trained persons.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 283).


As a general guideline, it is preferable that individuals offering counselling who are Bahá’ís not create the impression that they are a source of guidance in this area [parental consent] but rather, as stated above, refer the friends to Spiritual Assemblies.
(Universal House of Justice to an individual, 24 Sept. 2014)


As for the system called individual psychology, there is nothing in the Writings which supports any particular theory of that science ... Doubtless, in time, Bahá’ís of talent and scholarly bent who will have access to the full Texts of the Holy Writings will effect great progress in the development of psychology, as in other sciences, for the benefit of all mankind.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 21 June, 1976).


As regards your seeing a psychiatrist: there is no objection to your trying this form of treatment if your physician recommends it, and any intelligent doctor would never he prejudiced against the Faith through the difficulties incurred by a patient due to illness.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 282).


As you know, Bahá’u’lláh has ordained that in case of illness we should always consult the most competent physicians. And this is exactly what the Guardian strongly advises you to do. For prayer alone is not sufficient. To render it more effective we have to make use of all the physical and material advantages which God has given us. Healing through purely spiritual forces is undoubtedly as inadequate as that which materialist physicians and thinkers vainly seek to obtain by resorting entirely to mechanical devices and methods. The best result can be obtained by combining the two processes: spiritual and physical.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Throne of the Inner Temple, p. 76).


Besides assisting couples through their professional expertise, counselors can draw upon their insights into the Bahá’í Teachings to provide further assistance, such as by encouraging them to develop the skill of consultation and by helping them to distinguish concepts and practices current in society from those found in the Teachings. The views of professionals and of the wider society that are contrary to the Teachings will naturally have an impact on the friends in this age of transition. As the community grows in strength and as the Teachings become more fully understood and practiced by Bahá’ís, the distinctive characteristics of Bahá’í family life will become increasingly apparent.
(Universal House of Justice to an individual, 24 Sept. 2014)


Doubtless what the Guardian has said about psychiatry may also in general be said about psychology, including child psychology, but we have not found any texts to support this view.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 18 February, 1972).


Failure to encourage an appropriate healing remedy for an emotionally or psychologically traumatized member of a family is likely to adversely affect the future happiness and well-being of every member, for ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states, “The injury of one shall be considered the injury of all.” (National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States, Guidelines for Spiritual Assemblies on Domestic Violence, p. 60.)


For further assistance in this complex matter of self and its attributes, you may find it helpful to consult Bahá’ís who have been trained in psychology and psychiatry and who may be able to elucidate the differences between the current scientific concepts of the mind and its functions and those concepts which emerge from the Holy Writings.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 4 August, 1977).


In the process of reaching a decision, [about deciding on the appropriate amount of contact to have with the abusers] you may well find it useful to seek the advice of experts such as your therapist.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 9 September, 1992).


Psychology is still a very young and inexact science, and as the years go by Bahá’í psychologists, who know from the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh the true pattern of human life, will be able to make great strides in the development of this science, and will help profoundly in the alleviation of human suffering.
(From a letter written by the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 12 January, 1973).


Regarding your question about methods of healing which involve temporarily re-experiencing or remembering events, these are complex medical matters and as stipulated in the Teachings, believers should seek the best medical advice which is available and follow it. Experience seems to suggest that the healing process can often be a lengthy and stressful one requiring the close guidance and help of trained professionals. Advice given by well-meaning believers to the effect that you should seek to transcend psychological problems does not qualify as competent advice on what is essentially a medical issue.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 23 October, 1994)


Regarding your request to know what concepts of psychology are valid according to Bahá’í standards, the House of Justice suggests that an intensive study of Part IV of “Some Answered Questions", particularly chapter XLVIII in “The Difference which exists between Man and the Animal", will help you to view, in their proper perspective, any concepts being taught in your doctoral program. As a Bahá’í you will be able to detect when a concept ignores the spiritual part of a human being.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 14 September, 1980).


The House of Justice advises you to persevere in your efforts to secure good medical assistance, from psychiatrists or others, and to follow the advice of these specialists. It also suggests that through daily prayer, and specially by observing the daily obligatory prayers, through study of the Writings, through active participation in teaching efforts and in the activities of the community, and through constant effort to sacrifice for the Faith you love so well, you will obtain a spiritual counterpart to the professional help you will receive from the experts. In general, the best results for the healing process are found when the spiritual approach is combined with the remedy offered by competent doctors.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 26 July, 1988).


The House of Justice is pleased to learn from your letter that both you and your husband are receiving professional therapy, in addition to the counselling you are receiving from your Local Spiritual Assembly.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 22 July, 1987)


The local Spiritual Assembly can assist the individual believer to find a counsellor and with the believer’s permission can send a delegation to meet with the counsellor. The aims, goals and standards of the Faith can be shared with the counsellor and the Assembly can ask for information on how they might better assist, encourage and support the individual concerned. If the believer is willing, a release form may be signed by him which would release information from the counsellor to the local Spiritual Assembly or which would enable information to be released by the local Spiritual Assembly to the counsellor concerned.
(Source Unknown)


There is nothing in our teachings about Freud and his method. Psychiatric treatment in general is no doubt an important contribution to medicine, but we must believe it is still a growing science rather than a perfected science. As Bahá’u’lláh has urged us to avail ourselves of the help of good physicians, Bahá’ís are certainly not only free to turn to psychiatry for assistance but should, when available, do so. This does not mean psychiatrists are always wise or always right; it means we are free to avail ourselves of the best medicine has to offer us.


What the friends must try and grasp, however, is that the Bahá’í Faith at this stage in its evolution cannot place its seal of approval on any one of the plethora of healing techniques. In the rising Bahá’í society of the future, it may then be possible to make definitive judgements or to evolve practices more directly predicated on the Bahá’í Writings. However, there is at present enough development in the medical field and a wide record of experience to enable a person after reasonable investigation to choose a suitable doctor or medical institution to deal with a case of illness.
The basic instruction in the Writings to one who is ill is to find a doctor in whom confidence can be placed, to follow his advice and to put one’s trust in God through prayer. Of course, no healing technique which would lead the practitioner or the patient to contradict the Laws of the Faith is acceptable. We must be careful not to fall prey to quackery or to unnecessarily endanger the lives and health of either ourselves or of the loved ones with whose welfare we have been entrusted because of an arbitrary distrust of scientific methods of healing. If one feels that one is unable to make valid distinctions, it would be well to turn to others for advice, whether to Assemblies or to individuals possessing good judgement.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 10 May, 1990).


You are encouraged to follow the advice of your therapist in regard to the absences which you should take from your employment in order to facilitate your healing from the trauma you experienced in the past.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 22 December, 1992).


You can draw on these powers by your prayers as well as your participation in the work of the faith and the life of the Bahá’í community; through this effort, and through your consultation with competent professionals having expertise in your area of need, your can promote your healing from the damaging effects of your past experiences, and can find happiness and tranquillity.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 9 September, 1992).


You should feel under no obligation to continue to consult with someone in whom you have lost confidence or who you believe may cause you to act contrary to the teaching of the Faith. However, it should be understood that counselling of the type you are receiving may cause a variety of emotions to surface as a normal part of the therapy. Individuals sometimes feel close attachment to their therapist or experience other feelings which might be unsettling because they are unexpected; such emotions may simply represent a beginning of helpful change and need prove no danger to one’s moral standards.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 7 September, 1990).


Your URL seems fine. While use of the phrase “Bahá’í-inspired” is generally acceptable, it might be better to explain that your approach draws on your professional training as well as insights from the Bahá’í teachings. But how you present this is of course up to you. In the past, individuals offering counselling services who have used the phrase “Bahá’í Counselling Services” have been asked to drop use of “Bahá’í”. This to prevent misunderstandings that the initiative is somehow officially sanctioned, or that there is in fact a single approach in this area suggested by the Bahá’í writings.
(Bahá’í Internet Agency to an individual)



Your ongoing efforts to contribute to strengthening the institution of marriage by assisting individuals and couples through the study and application of principles derived from the Bahá’í Teachings are warmly appreciated. It is understood that, as you pursue this work, individuals sometimes raise questions about the application of Bahá’í marriage law to their circumstances, and it is in this connection that you have requested copies of recent letters written on this subject and clarification of the concept of conflict within marriage. However, the provision of guidance on administrative matters such as the laws of engagement, marriage, and divorce falls under the purview of Local and National Spiritual Assemblies; while Bahá’ís who are professional counselors are free to share with the friends extracts from the Bahá’í Writings and to offer advice of a general nature, it is best that they refer the friends in the first instance to their Local Spiritual Assemblies when questions arise about the application of the laws and Teachings of the Faith.
(Universal House of Justice to an individual, 24 Sept. 2014)


Your therapist is also in the best position to assist you to distinguish between those events which have occurred, and any other impressions in your memory which may not be based on actual experiences.
(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 22 December, 1992).


… the soul is not aided by psychotherapy…
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 283).