From ‘Christmas retreats’ to gurus: Experts warn about the risks of pseudotherapies

Published By with Comments

Categorized as Uncategorized Tagged , ,

Connecting with your inner child. Attributing your physical ailments to an emotional cause. Putting yourself in the hands of a guru or a guide. Eating at scheduled times and not talking to anyone for hours. All in a dream setting, far from the mundane racket, away from other people and family. Experts from the Salud sin Bulos (Health without Hoaxes) institute, in Spain, warn about the risks of blindly trusting the tantalizing messages of these kinds of retreats, which experience a boom around these dates. According to Salud sin Bulos, an extensive network of collaborators that includes doctors, psychologists, pharmacists and even experts in sects, these organizations “employ methods to recruit vulnerable people and profit from their suffering.” These are practices with no scientific evidence – referred to as pseudotherapies – which in this time of uncertainty, crisis, pandemic and war have found fertile ground.

Not that trying to reconnect with yourself, even if it is your inner child, is negative. Neither are, in essence, some practices such as meditation, reiki or family constellations. However, they do pose some risks that should be taken into account, explains Carlos Sanz, a psychologist who collaborated in the “Christmas without pseudotherapies” report. “Everyone’s spirituality is valid. But they take advantage of legitimate things and make abstract promises. There are people who go to a retreat to meditate and learn more about themselves, but they find other elements mixed in there, like the control of carbohydrates and sleep, long hours of meditation […] those who participate are being controlled.”

Sanz warns that the festive period is particularly fertile for these retreats. In the last two years, many people experienced traumatic Christmases due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and even if they want to celebrate, they are still grieving. And now they see everything returning to a reality almost like that of 2019. “They feel like they have to be on the same level as other people, and they are not ready. Cognitive dissonance ensues. They think, ‘I see that everyone is happy. I’ll find a way to get rid of my anxiety,’” points out the expert. “Many are unaware of the placebo effect of these types of therapies.”

The report presented by the institute does not seek to cancel these pseudotherapies, but rather ensure that people interested have all the information. Luis Santamaría, a collaborator of the institute and member of the Ibero-American Network for the Study of Sects (RIES), points out that it is very important that people “learn all about the group, what it consists of. And that throughout the activity they are aware of the causes for alarm, such as isolation and control, and to always have someone on the outside to compare and share what they feel, so they can have a second opinion.” The point is that people are well-informed so they can make free decisions and be critical.

Content retrieved from:

1 comment

  1. Many of the same manipulative techniques used by cults can be used by anyone or any group focused on controlling and exploiting people.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trenton, New Jersey 08618
609.396.6684 | Feedback

Copyright © 2022 The Cult News Network - All Rights Reserved