Ellis argued that religion, on the whole, is unhealthy and people would be better off to stop believing in such superstitions, especially the belief of any kind of certainty about God.
(You can’t talk about spirituality in psychotherapy without citing Richards and Bergin.) OK, let me tell you about some interesting experiences Bergin had — all of which he spoke about with remarkable tenderness and fondness for the famous psychologists involved.
Skinner Bergin had an interesting encounter with B. Skinner, an enormously famous and controversial psychologist who is the founder of modern behaviorism.
There are a few very interesting “nuggets” of information, especially concerning Bergin’s encounters with some very famous psychologists, that I would like to report.
First, let me tell you a little bit about Bergin’s background, based on some things he said in the class. Bergin began his studies at MIT (in mathematics or engineering, I think), but he grew to be dissatisfied with the lack of humanities in his technical education.
So he transferred to Reed College in Oregon where he enjoyed a liberal arts education, majoring in physics.
While at Reed, Allen met and started dating Marian Shafer, a lifelong Mormon from Ogden, Utah.
In 1980, Bergin wrote an extremely influential article in which he advocated for the inclusion of spirituality and religion in psychotherapy.
Since then, there has been such a tremendous turn, due in large part to Bergin, towards the spiritual in therapy that it is difficult for the upcoming generation to imagine that it was once seen as completely off-limits.
Bergin jokingly commented in class that, ironically, Rogers was an important contributor to his previous incongruency!