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Most consumers of mental health services assume that psychology developed as a bias-free social science, with research data driving theory and practice. This view is greatly flawed, as virtually all of the key theorists advanced their views based primarily on observations, personal insights, and ""beliefs."" These thinkers held a hostile view of faith, dismissing religious values as a sign of mental illness. While psychotherapy literally means ""care of the soul,"" mental health treatment largely excludes matters of the heart such as moral fiber and spirit. Lost has been the idea that virtues such as courage and hope play an intensely vital role in mental wellness. More troubling is the fact that most recipients of psychological services assume that mental health professionals, because of their training, possess sophisticated insights only they can dispense to relieve mental distress. Because the majority of mental health treatment has historically functioned from an illness model, both treatment providers and consumers have deemed faith beliefs and character strengths irrelevant to good mental health. Fortunately, the last twenty years of scientific research has reestablished the positive relationship between faith beliefs, character traits, and behavioral health that has been held sacrosanct throughout virtually all of human history. Through a distillation of these findings, Hidden Courage seeks to empower nonprofessionals with accessible, timeless principles that guide a good life. ""Exciting new research in positive psychology is documenting the natural integration of body and mind. . . . In this book William Elenchin surveys the history of the unnecessary battle between faith and psychology and shows how faith and religion must be added to current dialogues on mental health. Professor Elenchin compels us to conclude that if we are truly compassionate about those who suffer from mental illness or those who have troubles in living, we must help them become healthier in body, mind, and soul."" --Chuck Walker, Professor of Psychology, St. Bonaventure University ""Finally, a book that validates the real association between faith and mental wellness, offering proof of our human need for connectivity with God. It is a must read for all of us on life's beautiful journey. Hidden Courage is Visible Truth."" --Bradley F. Giannotti, MD, F.A.C.S. ""Informative, educational, exciting, and down to earth, William Elenchin answers the essence of healing the whole and complete person: physically, mentally, and spiritually. A must read!"" --Fr. Joseph Czarkowski William J. Elenchin is visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Bonaventure University, New York.
William J. Elenchin is visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at St. Bonaventure University, New York.