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The Effect of Studying A Course in Miracles on Mental Well-being

Abstract

In utilising cognitive restructuring techniques to treat mental distress, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) highlight the causal relationship between perception and experience. CBT and ACT however presume there is a separation: that the occurrence of an emotion, event, or other reality exists apart from and independent of its observation. As such, CBT and ACT are ontologically dualistic. This paper reports on a possible non-dualistic alternative to these treatment programs. The potential alternative examined is A Course in Miracles (ACIM): a creed of non-dualism that contains a self-study program of 365 workbook lessons aimed at restoring mental health through reframing and discontinuing dualistic perception. Effectiveness of this alternative was evaluated through 33 one-on-one interviews with participants (sourced through ACIM Meetup groups) who had completed the ACIM Workbook component. Findings report significant positive change for all interviewees regarding their attitudinal, emotional, and social lived experience.

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Correspondence to Shane Watts.

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The authors declare that this research was not sponsored by any parties associated with ACIM and did not provide any financial gain or privilege to those involved. The principal author has been an ACIM student for over 20 years, however at no point was the principal author’s views or his personal experience with the programme offered during data collection. To ensure research integrity participation was voluntary and no persons were solicited to volunteer.

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Watts, S., Sohrabi, H., Dix, M. et al. The Effect of Studying A Course in Miracles on Mental Well-being. Int J Ment Health Addiction 19, 267–282 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-019-00173-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-019-00173-3

Keywords

  • A Course in Miracles
  • Belief withdrawal
  • Mental health
  • Non-duality