Psychology | BYU Studies


Turning Freud Upside Down 2: More Gospel Perspectives on Psychotherapy's Fundamental Problems

An increasing number of psychotherapists reject traditional psychology’s marginalization of religion. As in the original Turning Freud Upside Down, this second volume looks to Christ’s gospel for direction. With a gospel perspective, the authors have questioned some of psychotherapy’s standard assumptions and have proposed features that should be found in gospel-compatible psychotherapy.


Healing Problems of Intimacy by Clients' Use of Gospel-Based Values and Role Definitions

A review of eight people accepted for counseling shows they sought more than moderation of symptoms or minimal control of problem behavior. Because of their values, they expected to achieve thorough and lasting change. To disregard this would have been an inadequate response to their needs. By open acknowledgment of values, client and therapist committed themselves to very specific outcomes. By... Read more

Reclaiming Reality: Doctoring and Discipleship in a Hyperconnected Age

The author—a husband, father, and medical oncologist—is an avid user of the latest technology, and yet he recognizes how it is changing him from the inside out. He describes “virtual doctoring,” which is reliance on the internet to stay abreast of the enormous, ever-changing body of medical literature. But he also worries that the internet is pulling him away from his patients. And the perils don... Read more

The New Morality: Research Bases for Decision in Today's World

I was once asked the somewhat startling question: "Harold, are you a Mormon or a sociologist?" My answer was a quick and brief "yes," for, though the sociologist, as scientist, looks for answers to his questions through empirical observations and objective analysis, while the Latter-day Saint leans heavily upon faith and obedience to authority, I do not believe these two approaches to truth are... Read more

Facilitating Intimacy: The Process and the Product A Response to Victor L. Brown Jr.

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Response to Malony

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What We Are

We human beings have little comprehension of what we are. The difficulty is not that we are ignorant. It's that we are self-deceiving. We systematically keep ourselves from understanding ourselves. We don't do this deliberately. In order to do it deliberately we would, as Jean-Paul Sartre once wrote, have to "know the truth very exactly in order to conceal it [from ourselves] more carefully."... Read more

No Man Knows My Psychology: Fawn Brodie, Joseph Smith, and Psychoanalysis

Anyone (like me) approaching the study of Mormon history wet behind the ears soon confronts Fawn McKay Brodie's famous (or, in certain LDS circles, infamous) biography of Joseph Smith. Quickly fulfilling Herbert Brayer's prophecy that it "will probably be one of the most highly praised as well as highly condemned historical works of 1945," No Man Knows My History elicited both wholesale acclaim... Read more

Mormonism in a European Catholic Region: A Contribution to the Social Psychology of LDS Converts

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Comment on C. Terry Warner's "What We Are"

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Response to Markova

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Wandering On to Glory

In this essay, the author contrasts a journey with a commute. A journey involves none of the sameness or boredom of a commute. It is movement from point A to point B, pressing forward toward a goal or final destination in mind. It is Huckleberry Finn on the river, Frodo Baggins carrying the ring to Mordor, the Joads struggling toward an elusive California promised land. A commute, by contrast, is... Read more

The Experience of Love and the Limitations of Psychological Explanation

Brent D. Slife, the 2017 Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer and a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at BYU, delivered this forum address on May 16, 2017, at Brigham Young University. His theme is love and how psychology's knowledge of love has been meager because love is not objective. Slife uses qualitative investigation to explore what love is. His presentation first... Read more

Hedonism, Suffering, and Redemption: The Challenge of Christian Psychotherapy

Few questions have so animated the discourse of the philosopher and the priest, the physician and the poet, as why it is we suffer and what our suffering might possibly mean. Of course, the question has never been solely the province of the scholar or the professional, as can be attested by any parent who has had to look on helplessly as a young child wastes away in a hospital bed. The... Read more

Increasing the Quality of Patient Care through Performance Counseling and Written Goal Setting

A study of nursing practice using business management performance objectives. Three hypotheses were tested using a control group (usual care methods) and an experimental group (performance counseling protocols that required written goal setting, coupled with head nurse modeling and support to achieve goals.) One goal was to improve patient care and the other was to improve staff nurse... Read more

Toward a Theory of Human Agency

In this lecture, Bergin discusses the psychology of self-regulation. Regarding self-control, he states that while many people act as if they weren't responsible for their own actions, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sometimes believe they are entirely responsible for everything to do with them. Under-control can be caused by a number of factors, most notably impulse... Read more

Statistics on Suicide and LDS Church Involvement in Males Age 15–34

Suicide rates among young adults in the United States have been on the rise in the past four decades, with white males at greatest risk. In 1897, Emile Durkheim proposed that religion provided a source of social integration that decreased the likelihood of suicide. His hypothesis was based on research of religious affiliation and suicide rates in Europe. Pope's reanalysis of Durkheim's data,... Read more

Unarmed Descent: The Achievement of R. D. Laing

The response to R. D. Laing's innovative psychiatry has been varied. One American colleague of Laing sees him as a "brilliant and sensitive paranoid schizophrenic." Another psychoanalyst who is close to Laing, and familiar with his theoretical and clinical work, believes him to be "perhaps the most original and creative psychiatric thinker since Freud." The intention of this essay is, with... Read more

The Shotgun Marriage of Psychological Therapy and the Gospel of Repentance

A. D. Sorensen introduces the topic and purpose of his article thusly: "When Elder Neal Maxwell gave the inaugural address that opened this Gospel and Behaviorial Science Conference, I thought he suggested that behavioral science might do well to court the gospel under, of course, the puritanical eyes of proper chaperones. Now I felt that it was about time someone should make this suggestion,... Read more

Reopening the Mexican Mission in 1901

In 1874 Brigham Young voiced his interest in taking the gospel message to Mexico. During the next two years he sent out several companies of missionaries, explorers, and colonizers. Then came missionary labors in Mexico City in 1879, the settlement of the Mormon colonies in Chihuahua in 1884 (after the arrival of the first Mormon expatriates from the United States who, because of polygamy, were... Read more

Bringing the Restoration to the Academic World: Clinical Psychology as a Test Case

I believe in bringing the Restoration to the academic world by infusing scholarly work with values, revelation, and inspired methods of inquiry that derive from the gospel. If this can be done rigorously and successfully, the results could be revolutionary. To take the step from terrestrial to celestial scholarship requires an integration of the spiritual and the empirical, with the spiritual... Read more