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The Polar Unities as a Guide to Psychotherapy

James Hunter
Journal of Religion and Health
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Spring, 1982), pp. 81-88
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27505662
Page Count: 8
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The Polar Unities as a Guide to Psychotherapy
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Abstract

The author recognizes the need for a psychotherapy that aims to be either spiritual or wholistic to ground itself in appropriate philosophical and theological constructs. As one small step in this direction, the ontological elements as discussed by Paul Tillich are applied to some specific therapeutic issues. Striking parallels are found between Tillich's first two ontological elements (individualization-participation, and dynamics-form) and the two dimensions (cohesion and adaptability) of the circumplex model of family therapy. It is suggested that Tillich's third ontological element (freedom-destiny) throws useful light on the educational and psychotherapeutic issue of permissiveness versus authoritarianism.

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