Aug 18, 2016

Inner Experience and Conversion

Michael D. Langone, Patrick Ryan, Joseph Kelly
Cognitive therapy is similar to religious conversion in that both are associated with changes in a person's fundamental assumptions about the world, self, and others. These fundamental assumptions derive in large part from experience, rather than rational deliberation. In some conversions powerful inner experiences, whether manipulated ("outer generated") or not ("inner generated"), may cause a person to adopt new fundamental assumptions. Sometimes, a new set of experiences can cause a convert to reject the new assumptions and leave the group. The resulting disillusionment may cause serious adjustment problems. The impact and implications of inner experiences should be considered when trying to help former group members.