JD asks: What is attitudinal healing?
Attitudinal healing is the perfect example of why one must never judge a book by its cover. Although it’s full of lovely platitudes that would sound terrific to any Christian – such as being based on the power of unconditional love and forgiveness – it’s actually based on the work of Dr. Helen Schucman, the prominent clinical psychologist whose book A Course in Miracles (aka the New Age bible) was supposedly written while she was channeling Jesus.
For those who have never heard of it, the purpose of the Course “is to train your mind in a systematic way to a different perception of everyone and everything in the world.”
For example, this new way of thinking involves believing that we all live in heaven with God and that our lives on earth are just a bad dream from which we simply have to wake up. There’s no such thing as sin, suffering, guilt, death, judgment, etc. and we need to be rid of these ideas and concepts because they stand in the way of our realizing our true divine nature. In order to do this, we need to develop a new attitude, and this is what the Course attempts to accomplish over the course of a year.
These attitudes are 1) the rejection of biblical understandings about such issues as sin, guilt, atonement and 2) the acceptance of New Age occult teachings such as pantheism (All is God, God is All) and psychic development.
People who take the Course are put through a kind of systematic brainwashing program in which they are called upon to repeat statements such as “Nothing I see in this room [on this street, from this window, in this place] means anything” for a few minutes in the morning and at night.
Although it might sound silly, by lesson 96, students are being taught that “Salvation comes from my one self.” Lesson number 303 teaches that, “The holy Christ is born in me today.”
In other words, this Course, which was supposedly received from Jesus Himself, goes way off the rails.
What does this have to do with Attitudinal Healing?
According to research done by Dr. John Ankerberg and Dr. John Weldon at the Christian Research Center, attitudinal healing is based on the Course.
Attitudinal healing was founded by psychiatrist Jerry Jampolsky, M.D., and his wife, Diane Circincione, Ph.D. who opened the Center for Attitudinal Healing in 1975.
As they explain on their website: “Attitudinal Healing is based on the belief that it is not people or external situations that cause us to be upset. Rather, what causes us conflict and distress are our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes about people and events. Attitudinal Healing is letting go of fear and our negative, hurtful thoughts from the past. Attitudinal Healing allows us to correct our misperceptions and to remove the inner obstacles to peace. This begins at life, and at death; to have peace of mind as our only goal; and to make forgiveness our primary function. It is discovering the effect that holding on to our grievances, blaming others, and condemning ourselves has, so that we can choose to no longer find value in them.”
This sounds really terrific, doesn’t it? Unless one knows about the true nature of the Course and Jampolsky’s affiliation with it, one would think the forgiveness and peace he’s talking about comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ instead of from the book widely regarded as the “New Age Bible”.
Jampolsky does not hide his links to the Course, however. In his book, Good-Bye to Guilt, he writes:
“I began to change my way of looking at the world in 1975. Until then I had considered myself a militant atheist, and the last thing I was consciously interested in was being on a spiritual pathway that would lead to God. In that year I was introduced to… A Course in Miracles…. My resistance was immediate…. Nevertheless, after reading just one page, I had a sudden and dramatic experience. There was an instantaneous memory of God, a feeling of oneness with everyone in the world, and the belief that my only function on earth was to serve God.
“Because of my Jewish background, however, I found that, as I got into the course, I developed a great deal of resistance to its Christian terminology….
“Because of the profound effect the course had on my life, I decided to apply its principles in working with catastrophically ill children. In 1975, my inner guidance led me to help establish The Center for Attitudinal Healing in Tiburon, California, to fulfill that function. (Good-Bye to Guilt: Releasing Fear Through Forgiveness, New York: Bantam, 1985, pp. 4,11.)
Dr. Jampolsky goes on to explain that while the Course itself is not used at the Center; the staff is expected to “adopt and demonstrate the principles of attitudinal healing” taught by the Course.
This explains why so many Attitudinal Healing Centers also offer A Course in Miracles, such as this center listed on Facebook, the Oasis Institute in Tennessee and another center in Novato, California.
A Course in Miracles is so dangerous for Christians that we have devoted an entire booklet in our Learn to Discern series to presenting the evidence against this practice. Click here to learn more.