In Faith and Science

On New Year’s Eve, I was sitting in church and heard Rev. Cheryl Broome speak about neurotheology, a term I have not heard before. I am, of course, familiar with neuroscience and neuropsychology. Research tells us much about the brain, and particularly about the ways the two hemispheres of the brain work in tandem with each other and how they differ. Rev. Broome spoke more about the differences, specifically about how the right brain operates in connection with others more freely and creatively, while the left brain works more compartmentally and less in connection with others, often getting stuck in boxes of fear. Her connection to theology was about being more right brain aware, using its ability to connect and relate positively to others and to the Divine.

That same afternoon, I was reading Phil Cain’s blog and was struck by this sentence:

“A scientific outlook, and the healthy skepticism that goes with it, are no reason to ignore the need to form beliefs we can apply. Such beliefs provide us with a rugged, reliable and reassuring guide, like a pocket compass.”

Suzanne Slay - Respect Focused Therapy-2

I have long believed that there is room and compatibility for both faith and science. In psychotherapy especially the merging of the two seem to have significant capacity for healing. As a therapist, I need to be consistently mindful of where I am both spiritually and professionally, keeping abreast of the latest scientific literature in psychology and yet growing into my spiritual self. At the same time, I need respectfully pay keen attention to where my client is on the continuums of each measure.

It is my sincerest belief that respect, at its most rudimentary core, is the right brain connection for which we all strive and in the process of learning to connect more  fully in that way, we become stronger, healthier and more fully human.

Wishing everyone the best new year ever for growth and connection!


RFT Book Cover

Respect-Focused Therapy (RFT) is a foundation on which all modalities and techniques used in therapy can be strongly grounded, in order to produce sound, effective outcomes. This approach offers clients the opportunity to gain experiential understanding of being respected, possibly for the first time, from the therapeutic relationship and then be able to heal old wounds by creating more respect for self and others in the therapeutic process.