Thursday, December 3, 2009

Psychotherapy , Happiness and Money

According to a study conducted at the University of Warwick and published in “Health Economics, Policy and Law,” psychotherapy may be 32 times more effective at fostering happiness and well being than either getting a raise or winning the lottery.

Study author, Chris Boyd wrote, “Often the importance of money for improving our well-being and bringing greater happiness is vastly over-valued in our societies…The benefits of having good mental health, on the other hand, are often not fully appreciated and people do not realize the powerful effect that psychological therapy, such as non-directive counseling, can have on improving our well-being."

I’m reminded here of psychologist and author, David Myers observation that “We excel at making a living but often fail at making a life. We celebrate our prosperity but yearn for purpose. We cherish our freedoms but long for connection. In an age of plenty, we feel spiritual hunger.”

Study after study concludes that material wealth is not correlated with emotional, physical or spiritual health, and retail therapy offers far less in terms of satisfaction and well-being than psychotherapy. Even a poll conducted by the Roper organization, commissioned by Jean Chatzky, financial editor of the Today show and columnist for Money magazine in 2003, concluded that personal happiness is not connected to how much money you have to spend. If you want to be happy, your best bet is to invest in your relationships and the health of your mind, body, and spirit rather than in gold, stocks, bonds, or your bank account.

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