This book introduces an approach to mental health that dates back 3,000 years to an ancient body of Jewish spiritual wisdom. Known as the Connections Paradigm, the millennia-old method has been empirically shown to alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. After being passed down from generation to generation and tested in clinical settings with private clients, it is presented to a broad audience for the first time.
The idea behind the paradigm is that at any given moment, human beings are either “connected” or “disconnected” across three key relationships. To be “connected” means to be in a loving, harmonious, and fulfilling relationship; to be “disconnected” means, of course, the opposite. The three relationships are those between our souls and our bodies, ourselves and others, and ourselves and God.
These relationships are hierarchal; each depends on the one that precedes it. This means that we can only connect with God to the extent that we associate with others, and we cannot connect with others if we don’t connect with ourselves. The author, Dr. David H. Rosmarin, devotes a section to each relationship and describes techniques and practices to become a more connected individual. He also brings in compelling stories from his clinical practice to show the process in action.
Whether you’re a clinician working with clients, or a person seeking the healing balm of wisdom; whether you’re a member of the Jewish faith, or a person open to new spiritual perspectives, you will find this book sensible, practical, and timely because, for all of us, connection leads to mental health.
About the Author
David H. Rosmarin, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and director of the Spirituality and Mental Health Program at McLean Hospital. A prolific researcher, Dr. Rosmarin has authored over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications, numerous editorials/book chapters, and over 100 abstracts. His clinical work and research have received media attention from ABC, NPR, Scientific American, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times.
“A leading voice in the psychology of religion and its application to mental health problems, Dr. Rosmarin has given faith-based providers an entirely new language for intertwining spiritual, interpersonal, and mental health domains in the interests of clinical care. This innovative volume shows how ancient Jewish teachings on the relation of body and soul can be combined with a broad array of modern evidence-based approaches to psychological care, from exposure to experiential acceptance, from nutrition to interpersonal compassion. There is a significant body of science showing that embedding evidence-based intervention into a spiritual journey is a powerful combination for people of faith. Still, providers need a more general approach that stands one step above the details of particular religious commitments. Filled with clinical examples, this book radiates kindness and empathic concern, and its use of ‘body and soul’ could be effective with a wide range of people of faith.”
—Steven C. Hayes, PhD, Originator of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, author of A Liberated Mind, and Foundation Professor of Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno
“Dr. Rosmarin has done a great mental health service for the general public. With so many today beset by anxiety and depression and tiring of modern answers that feel superficial, The Connections Paradigm offers a profound, centuries-old method to relieve mental distress, enhance life’s most important relationships, and achieve genuine peace of mind.”
—Harold G. Koenig, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Duke University Health Systems, and director of the Duke Center for Spirituality, Theology, and Health
“The Connections Paradigm is not only timely but Dr. David Rosmarin’s careful attention to its rich traditionands practical relevance for each of us is a gift. I am truly grateful for how well he unpacks these three critical forms of connection—Inner Connection, Interpersonal Connection, and Spiritual Connection—with such clarity alongside the relatable stories he weaves throughout this book!”
—Holly K. Oxhandler, PhD, LMSW, associate professor of social work and associate dean for research faculty development, Baylor University’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work
“Infused with the warmth and wisdom of Judaism, this book offers a deeply thoughtful psychological and spiritual guide for those seeking greater connectedness within themselves, with others, and with God. Using poignant stories from his clinical practice, Rosmarin illustrates how a ‘connections paradigm’ can foster transformations among people facing the full range of psychological problems. This book will deepen the practice of many providers and the lives of many clients.”
—Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD, professor emeritus, department of psychology, Bowling Green State University, author of Spiritually Integrated Psychotherapy
“David Rosmarin has compiled a thoughtful and relatable guide to help us reconnect with our body and soul. He shares practical instructions supported by theory, case studies,s, and ancient Jewish spiritual teachings to show that we can live more fully when we are truly connected to all our parts. The Connections Paradigm is good for the body, mind, and soul.”
—Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Change
“Jung famously claimed that every patient he treated over age thirty-five needed in the end to find a spiritual outlook on life. In The Connections Paradigm, mental and spiritual health are beautifully intertwined, and Jewish wisdom becomes a stabilizing and uplifting force in an often dark and confusing world.”
—Rabbi David Wolpe, Max Webb Senior Rabbi, Sinai Temple
“Written in a lucid and graceful style and full of applicable case studies, this book is an authoritative statement on the importance of spirituality in mental health. I highly recommend The Connection Paradigm either as a self-help guide or as a blueprint for interventions by mental health professionals. The cure for human suffering lies in healing the brokenness in a divided self, conflict in relationships, and separation from God.”
—Paul T. P. Wong, PhD., C.Psych, president of the International Network on Personal Meaning