The leading therapeutic intervention for mental disorders in Clinical Psychology is Cognitive Therapy. In CT the therapist gets the client to look at their distorted thinking and views of themselves and the world. One of the two inter-related techniques are examining the evidence and behavioral experiments. In examining the evidence the therapist teaches the client to look at their initial thoughts in situations that cause them distress (i.e., depression, anxiety, and maladaptive behaviors). The client is asked to look for evidence for and evidence against their thought, much like a scientific experiment. The difficulties in treatment and in the individuals life w/o treatment is that they continue to look for evidence that supports their initial thought, which is termed selective attention. At times the information is even distorted to fit with their pre-existing world-view. For more neurotic and less sever client's they are able to make quick changes in their life, emotions, behaviors, and worldview. However, for more severe psychopathology, such as personality disorders, the individual goes through extreme emotional turmoil as if their entire world has been shattered. The goal of the therapist is to help the client re-develop a knew way of looking at themselves and the world.
I find that this is a good analogy for what happens with hardcore theists. The trouble is their worldviews are so hard to break. They look at the smallest oppportunity to confirm thier belief and will distort it to fit their world view. They are not willing to examine the evidence and conduct those scientific experiments, much like the severe personality disordered patient.
I would like to discuss further and have more to offer on this topic, but I need to go to bed.
I am so glad I found this site.
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