Catholic Therapists and New Age patients


#1

Hello,

My father is a psychotherapist/social worker in private practice and recently he’s had patients who receive new age treatments such as acupuncture, reiki, etc. He also has a couple of patients who are studying New Age treatments and are administering them to others.

By law as a therapist, he is supposed to be neutral, non-judgemental, and not impose his personal and spiritual views. How should he go about counseling these patients? He is very conflicted because he wants to stay true to the Catholic faith and the Church’s teachings, but he also doesn’t want to jeopardize his career.

I’m not sure if this is the right area to post this question, but any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much. God bless you.


#2

To be objective, not knowing the details of these New Age treatments, I would exam them for any redeeming value. If in some way they conflicted with one’s belief, then he would have to be true to his belief. He could emphasize the positive value if any, of such treatments and give his opinion. If the patient was not disposed to receiving the opinions, then I don’t see how he could benefit the patient in the first place with his own treatments. If they go to him in the first place, it must be with some expectation for therapy, or why go. If his therapy is beneficial, it will speak for itself and this should carry some true weight in his opinions that others recognize, or should recognize. Trust the Holy Spirit to guide him, this is where real therapy takes place.


#3

He should just work with them where they are. He should just allow them their freedom of choice and counsel them according to their needs. He does not have to support their choices, only to allow them to make their own choices. A lot of things are lumped into “new age” that aren’t really new age at all. Acupuncture is an old old method of treating patients in Chinese medicine and it works well for certain problems.


#4

In total agreement with this. :thumbsup:

But I would only recommend Acupuncture if it’s done by a physician trained and thoroughly practiced in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It could be dangerous getting acupuncture done by someone who just “does” acupuncture.


#5

Thank you for your reply. Good points you’re making. Thanks again, I really appreciate it.


#6

Thank you for your opinion and advice. Makes sense. I appreciate your response.


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.