The Need for Religion and Spirituality in Counselling Practices: Approaching through Cardinal Sins
Keywords:religion, counseling, SRP counseling, philosophy, psychology, cardinal sins, ICD-11, Psychiatry, depression
In the present article, the author tries to discuss subtle differences between several types of counselling – religious, spiritual, philosophical, psychological and the combination Spiritual/Religious/Philosophical (SRP) counselling. In the process, arguments for the need to include religion in counselling are pointed out. Further, taking the example of cardinal sins, the importance of religion is discussed from a psychological perspective. This is because 84% (5.8 billion) of the world’s population (6.9 billion) in the year 2010 CE followed one religion or the other. Towards achieving this, the present study tries to identify equivalents of the seven cardinal sins of Catholicism in other religions like Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Zoroastrianism. The significance of this article is in the observation that professional counsellors can identify various instances of including religion in their sessions. Also explored in this article are the reasons for the transgression by sinners as proffered by different religions. Some religions like Hinduism and Judaism identify the root cause for sinning to be thoughts in the minds of the sinner. Islam also mentions that sinning leads to depression and anxiety. Hinduism attributes some types of sins to weariness, old age, and illnesses. Therefore, this study also tries to identify the equivalents of the “seven cardinal sins” in the international classification of diseases (ICD-11) or the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5). While many religions prescribe reformation and repentance as remedial measures, Islam seems to have blurred the distinction between “sins” and “crimes” whence there are punishments for even the first instance of sinning. Most religions punish the sinner only upon persistent repetition of the sins. The blurring of the distinction between sins and crimes makes the civil law of many a country consider sins as punishable crimes.