Bhagavad Gita as a Clinical Tool to Treat Psychological Problems

published on September 18, 2012

The first ever recorded counselling session in India’s, and perhaps the world’s, history was when Lord Krishna spoke to Arjun just before the war in the Mahabharata; and it is being put to good use in modern times too.

The Bhagvad Gita is fast emerging as a clinical tool to treat certain psychological problems, particularly those related to anxiety, examination and interview fears, depression and a negative attitude towards life and career goals.

Sustained counselling by applying different psychological methods, as Krishna did to Arjuna, has been quite helpful in clinical practice.

Doctors also point out that the Gita, as a psychotherapeutic tool, best suits Indian conditions as the current Western models of psychological counselling have failed to deliver in the country.

Dr M.S. Reddy, head of psychiatry, Asha Hospital, who conducted a research on ‘Psychotherapy — Insights from Bhagvad Gita’, says, “As is the case with any successful model of therapeutic intervention, which needs to be individualised for maximum benefit, the psychotherapeutic approach practiced in Bhagvad Gita also has its place in the repertoire of psychotherapeutic models.”

The Gita is a useful tool in the hands of an experienced therapist when applied judiciously for specific problems of distress, says Dr Reddy. His research work appeared in the latest issue of the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine.

He says that for a student of psychology, the Gita offers a valuable case study. It helps in resolution of conflict and successful resumption of action from a state of acute anxiety and guilt-laden depression.

Describing the therapy process in Bhagvad Gita in which Lord Krishna helped a grief-stricken Arjun through dialogue, Dr Reddy says, “What is more important and relevant is not what it is but what transpired in the 18 chapters of Bhagvad Gita.”

Also important is the process and content of this dialogue, its very usefulness as a model of counselling and possible contemporary application to current day psychological therapies, especially, but not limited to, in the Indian context.

Read full Report by Syed Akbar @ Deccan Chronicle

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