To feel or not to feel

by Andrea Elizabeth

More bridges in Orthodox Interventions:

“The emphasis on thinking, however, should not obscure the importance of the emotional reactions that are generally the immediate source of distress (Bouton 2004). It simply means that emotions are addressed through cognitions. By correcting erroneous beliefs, excessive, inappropriate emotional reactions can be altered (Beck, 1976).”

What I haven’t really heard from the official Orthodox yet is what role abuse plays. This comes close,

“Another external stimulus that tempts wo/man to undesirable and sinful behavior/conduct, and that subsequently leads to spiritual, behavioral, and psychological disorders and pathologies, is identified by the Holy Fathers as unexpected or traumatic events and/or misfortunes (Bouton, 2004; DiLeo, 2007). These events serve only as stimuli and are not the cause of any particular behavior/conduct (Bouton, 2004). However, an unanticipated or traumatic event or misfortune, calamity, or hardship significantly disturbs/disrupts attentiveness/focus (Bouton 2004). By dislodging the nous from its concentration on virtue, it is diverted towards sin and internal strife (Bouton, 2004; DiLeo, 2007). The cause of this overthrow is the lack of attention to the attacks of the adversary (St. Maximus the Confessor 1985; St. Nikodemos & St. Makarios, 1983).

I wonder how much of an individual’s “breaking point” is under his or her control. Variables could include pain tolerance, education, maturity, and accessibility to Orthodox helps.