It often seems that, when talking about what we should believe in, the prevailing consensus in the Western world is that we should only place faith in things that are knowable – things that are scientifically provable. To state that we experienced a vision from a deceased relative is pathologized, and often diagnosed. To state that we believe in an all powerful and all knowing God is scoffed at in our secularized society. To state that we are convinced of something that has no proof, as defined by our “scientific” age is to announce that we should not be taken seriously by the majority of society.

As a practicing therapist, I find that this manifests most often in what are called “evidence based practices” or EBP’s. These are heavily researched approaches to therapy and counseling, such as DBT and CBT, that have displayed scientific and documentable evidence that they produce improved outcomes in the majority of patients. What I am not saying is that these EBP’s are methods that we should eschew. However, I do believe that the presence of these modalities have pushed the art of therapy into the corners, and have made the art of therapy into something that is much more often something that companies and insurance agencies can turn into numbers, dollars and, most importantly, profit.

This marginalizing of the art of psychotherapy is, I believe, a symptom of the greater issue of our modern society’s unwillingness and sometimes downright hostility to accept that there are things in this world that affect us deeply, and oftentimes only individually, with no explanation in the material and observable world. These can be experiences of the paranormal, an intimate unspoken connection with a stranger on a bus, a powerful religious experience either individually or as a community and a number of other things that, due to their very nature, elude a description that I would be able to provide.

It is these things, these unobservable and often unexplainable experiences that comprise the most important and moving aspects of human life. This is not to deny the importance scientific progress – the material world is not diminished in importance by the existence of the metaphysical and interior world. But we should likewise not let our reliance of the material world dim the beauty and integrally important world of the unknowable either.

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