Studying Psychology


#1

I’ve just started a Psychology course but am wary that it might conflict with Church teaching - are there any Catholic Psychologists out there who can give me some advice? Will I be downgraded for defending the Churches position on any issues?


#2

I studied Psychology at a secular school. There's a lot of goofiness out there, but there's a lot of good stuff, too. The important thing is to keep praying, studying, and growing in your faith while you complete your studies. If something sounds "off", spend some time thinking and praying about it. Consult a priest.

You also have to learn to pick your battles. You can't necessarily chime in every time a professor says something in opposition to our faith. And if you do chime in, you want to make sure you know what you're talking about. :)

You might consider contacting the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. They are the premiere Catholic graduate school for Psychology. If you want to pursue further studies in Psychology, it's a great place to go.


#3

I teach an Introductory Psychology course. I tell my students on the first day that in this course you are here to learn the basics of this discipline. At the end of this course you may disagree with some of the theories you will hear or all of the theories in this course. In exams you will not be asked what your "opinion" is of Freud or BF Skinner's theories, but you will be asked what WERE the theories they proposed.

You cannot effectively discuss or debate other points of view unless you know what the other point of view is saying.

As far as education is concern, I am a firm believer that only hearing what you are familiar or comfortable with will keep you in a "bubble". You have an opportunity to move out of your "comfort zone", hear what other people have to say, and if you feel they are anti-Catholic you will reach that decision based on the facts.


#4

Very true. The majority of the time, students are not being asked to give their personal opinion but simply to learn the theories and studies.


#5

Such is not always the case. I have had to defend myself on a number of absolute moral issues during various classes, and had to do so in a creative manner when writing exams that required me to write that abortion and birth control were necessary for women to advance in society. It was a nightmare. My grades suffered; I appealed my final grade repeatedly to no avail. When I stated that there was no way I could accept that another student’s pro-abortion views were also acceptable (the school was plagued by moral relativism), I was told by my instructor that if I can’t accept that what I believe might not be true, “then perhaps * should rethink post-secondary education.”

I had to seek the counsel of my priest for how to get through such a class which was required. Don’t think you won’t have to suffer in school for your faith. I switched to a Catholic university, and we’re not allowed to refer to God as He or any gender specific language. :rolleyes:*


#6

Thanks for the answers :slight_smile:

The only reason I ask is that at some point down the line, after graduation, I’d be looking to take that step towards the Priesthood further, and don’t want to be asked ‘so what made you pick Psychology?’ Because at the minute it’s just because I think it sounds the most interesting and varied subject to study whilst I decide what to do with my life!


#7

Not all psychology is quackery. For example, Thomistic psychology is based on the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas.

There’s a priest, who used to teach theology and philosophy for the FSSP in Denton, NB, Fr. Chad Ripperger, Ph. D. You can contact him through Sensus Traditionis. If you’re looking at Psychology and the Priesthood, he should be able to give you some real guidance. He actually wrote a 3 part volume psychology book based on Catholic Principles.

I’ve taken a lot of psych classes, and there is quite a bit of stuff you have to wade through to get to the good stuff.


#8

[quote="Deo_Gratias42, post:5, topic:298965"]
Such is not always the case. I have had to defend myself on a number of absolute moral issues during various classes, and had to do so in a creative manner when writing exams that required me to write that abortion and birth control were necessary for women to advance in society. It was a nightmare. My grades suffered; I appealed my final grade repeatedly to no avail. When I stated that there was no way I could accept that another student's pro-abortion views were also acceptable (the school was plagued by moral relativism), I was told by my instructor that if I can't accept that what I believe might not be true, "then perhaps * should rethink post-secondary education."

I had to seek the counsel of my priest for how to get through such a class which was required. Don't think you won't have to suffer in school for your faith. I switched to a Catholic university, and we're not allowed to refer to God as He or any gender specific language. :rolleyes:*

Sheesh, that's tough. I had some professors take pot shots at Catholicism (calling themselves "recovering Catholics" and whatnot), but I never had to endure stuff like that. Even my Community Psychology classes, while goofy, didn't require me to have to defend Catholic teaching in the face of blatant promotion of immorality.

[/quote]


#9

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