Psychiatry and Hypnosis
The Watchtower does not forbid a Witness seeing a psychiatrist or psychologist, however does speak disparagingly of these professions. Experiences are related of how becoming a Witness succeeds where psychiatry has failed. Psychologists are to be avoided because it shows the person has lost faith in the Bible's ability to provide the solutions, will likely direct people away from the Watchtower religion and may resort to "demonic" hypnosis.
Watchtower 1990 September 1 p.15
"The sister then told her how a knowledge of Bible truth had helped her. She had lost an 18-year-old daughter in death and had gone into a state of deep depression for eight years. Neither psychiatrists nor costly medications helped her to overcome this depression. Several times, she said, she was hospitalized, but no improvement resulted. Her household was taken care of by servants because she herself was not able to take care of anything. She tried to commit suicide because she had lost interest in life. Nothing seemed to help.
Then, she told the lady, one day Jehovah's Witnesses called and left her some Bible literature. That sparked her interest in God's Word, and she began to read the Bible all the way through. Something started to change within her. She began to get up in the morning and take an interest in her household. She finally decided to take care of the house by herself and found she was able to do so. It was as though she had never been sick! This made her feel very happy.
She did not return to the psychiatrist. Her will to live was stimulated by her knowledge of God's Word, and this proved to be the best medicine. She looked for Jehovah's Witnesses, and they started a regular study with her. She also began to attend meetings, and very soon she got baptized. No longer bothered with depression, she now finds joy in serving Jehovah."
Watchtower 1988 Oct 15 p.29
"What, though, about accepting treatment from a psychiatrist or a psychologist? This would be a personal decision to be made with due caution. ... Of even more concern is the fact that some well-intentioned practitioners have given advice that flatly contradicts the Bible. ... Does the physician understand and respect the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses?"
Awake! 1975 August 22 p.25
"Is the turning of people from the clergy to the psychiatrists a healthy phenomenon? No, for it really is a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. They are worse off than they were before... That they are not the ones to go to for help when one is depressed and beset with all manner of problems is to be seen from the fact that suicides among them are twice as frequent as among the population in general... what is needed at such times is not worldly psychiatrists who may wholly ignore the change that the truth and God's holy spirit have made in one's life and who know nothing of their power to help one put on a new Christian personality. Rather, what is needed at such times is a mature Christian in whom one has confidence and who is vitally interested in one's welfare and who will not shrink back from administering needed reproof or counsel so that one may get healed."
Awake! 1960 March 8 p.27
"As a rule, for a Christian to go to a worldly psychiatrist is an admission of defeat, it amounts to 'going down to Egypt for help.' Isaiah 31:1. Often when a Witness of Jehovah goes to a psychiatrist, the psychiatrist will try to persuade him that his troubles are caused by his religion, entirely overlooking the fact that the Christian witnesses of Jehovah are the best-oriented, happiest and most contented group of people on the face of the earth. They have the least need for psychiatrists. Also, more and more psychiatrists are resorting to hypnosis, which is a demonic form of worldly wisdom."
Watchtower 1963 January 15 p.37-8
"The second reason for our critical times is modern man's rejection of God's Word the Bible. Enemies such as Wellhausen and his prejudiced school of higher critics, Darwin and his evolutionists, Freud and his theories, Marx and his atheistic revolutionists all these have played a sinister role in destroying the guiding influence of the Bible for many; especially since so many of the clergy have adopted such worldly wisdom.. According to Freud, one of psychiatry's chief authorities, religion is a great illusion that man will get rid of someday. Psychiatry stresses, 'Know thyself,' as if an enlightened self-love is sufficient for successful living. More than ignoring God, analysts often contradict God by advising those with guilty consciences that fornication, adultery and sodomy are not wrong in themselves. The charge rightly has been made that such counsel tends to exterminate the conscience."
Without doubt psychologists... have a lot to learn and they think they know more than they actually do, or they would not have let two chimpanzees make such monkeys out of them.
Watchtower 1952 January 15 p.53
"So we must shun the false guides of men and their false religions, babbling psychologists, wordy psychiatrists and polluted politicians, all of which have built up such tremendous reputations as colossal failures. Look at the messes they have made, know them by their rotten fruits, reject them for their fruits."