Voorbij mythe en ritueel; een experiëntiële benadering van religie en spiritualiteit

ARTICLEKalmthout, Martin van - 51–3 (2013)


This article deals with the question of whether person-centered psychotherapy and religion (or spirituality) can bear each other. Opinions on this issue are widely divergent. The reason is that no clear distinction is made between the various (proto)types of religion and spirituality. When religion is understood as a system of myths that are practiced in the form of rituals, then person-centered psychotherapy and religion cannot be united. But if religion refers to practice-oriented personal experiences and insights, then not only can religion and person-centered psychotherapy be united, they can even be considered congenial. This congeniality is explained here by means of Jerome Frank’s placebo theory. From this perspective the person-centered psychotherapy is described as an approach that strives for direct contact with reality, going beyond myths and rituals. A similar approach can be found in the religious domain, but must explicitly be distinguished from institutionalized religion.


person-centered psychotherapy, religion, spirituality, experiential psychotherapy, myth and ritual, Carl Rogers, Brian Thorne, Jerome Frank

The tPeP (Journal Person-centered experiential Psychotherapy) is the scientific journal for Dutch and Flemish psychotherapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, that work from, or are interested in a client-centered perspective.