What to do When a “Christian” Therapist’s Office Sports Yin Yang Symbols and Zen Gardens

TR asks: “Please let me know how the Mobius trip, guided imagery and pendulums (in sand) are associated with the New Age. All were found to be either a part of a so called “Christian therapist’s” therapy or simply objects in his office. I also recognized the Ying Yang symbol and other small gadgets (smooth stones, etc.) in a basket that was on the coffee table in his office. Also included was a mini-Zen garden as you entered the front door. 

“Because of all of this, I have decided to steer clear of this therapist for my teenage son (all 3 of us had the initial visit only). My husband thinks I am going overboard by not choosing him as a therapist because he thinks that the therapist was “very engaging”.  Please tell me, am I going overboard or is the above enough to steer clear from this therapist especially when his secretary claimed that he was Christian?  This has caused much family discord and I just need to be affirmed that the correct decision was made on my part.”

I saw so many red flags in this description of a therapist’s office that I can hardly fault you for wanting to leave. The fact that he called himself a “Christian” – with Yin Yang symbols and Zen gardens laying around – is even more reason to make a bee-line for the exit. 

First of all, the Yin Yang symbol is based on the Taoist belief that there are two opposite but complementary forces that govern the universe. These “forces” are also known as chi, ki, prana and qi and are the basis for most Eastern/pantheistic belief systems as well as the New Age. Science  refers to these energy forces as “putative” and because there is no evidence of their existence, considers all treatments based on them to be in the realm of pseudo-science. In other words, if this therapist is using any practices that are based on a belief in yin yang, those methods are scientifically unfounded.

Guided imagery is about as New Age as you can get and, depending on how it’s being implemented, can be used to induce altered states of consciousness. This article explains guided imagery in more depth.   

As for the sand pendulum, sand play therapy is used in psychotherapy.; however, all of the practitioners I found described themselves as Jungian, meaning they subscribe to the teachings of Dr. Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), the founder of analytical psychology who also happens to be known as the father of the New Age and Neo-Gnosticism. He was heavily into the occult, claimed to have “communicated with spirits” all his life, and was deeply involved in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, I Ching, Theosophy, dream interpretation, etc.

It’s anyone’s guess how this therapist might be using the sand pendulum, perhaps in some form of play therapy, but you should be aware that this tool is also used by people to bring themselves into meditative states. Various forms of pendulums are also used in divination (which is forbidden to Christians – see No. 2116 in the Catechism) but I suspect he’s using it as a therapy rather than to predict the future.

The Zen Garden, also known as a Japanese rock garden, is peculiar to Zen Buddhism and Zen Temples where it is used as a place of meditation.

I’m not sure what the Mobius trip is all about but at this point, there are already so many red flags it hardly matters. The only thing I came across was a mobius curve used as a logo by a psychotherapist named Dr. Patrick B. McGinnis.  A Mobius curve is a single closed curve that only has one plane.  When asked why he uses this symbol in his logo, Dr. McGinnis responded: “Because to me it is reminiscent of life before enlightenment (or psychological growth) endlessly traveling in unseen circles repeating patterns; and likewise represents the mystery of life ever enfolding on itself.” 

TR, I have to side with you on this one. When you walk into a Christian therapist’s office, you should see signs of Christianity laying around, not symbols of pantheism. Your instincts are spot-on!

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