The New Religion of the Therapeutic

In my observations, a new “religion” of sorts has developed in our culture and society, one that centers the (perceived) therapeutic. In this new “religion,” mental health is the new salvation; psychologists are the new priesthood; therapy is the new sacramentalism; self-care the new spiritual discipline; and the idea that we should only do or say things that are affirming is its dogma.

Now, don’t get me wrong; there’s obviously good to be had in psychology, therapy, etc. Mental health is a good thing and something we should be concerned with as Christians. And there are many things we as Christians can learn from psychology, therapists, etc., especially in those areas where the church has largely previously failed.

But these ideas, when unmoored from Christian convictions (e.g., of what constitutes “health”) actually enter in as an alternative framework (worldview), which will prove dangerous (and already is), even as it easily hijacks Christian language in its propagation.