Spiritual Bypassing in the Bishop’s Office: When Help Turns to Harm

Take a trip down the rabbit hole! This presentation discusses spiritual bypassing using an Alice in Wonderland analogy. Don’t know what spiritual bypassing is? You may not know the term, but you’ve probably encountered the phenomenon. Spiritual bypassing occurs when people use spiritual ideas or practices to avoid facing painful psychological or emotional wounds. This presentation defines spiritual bypassing, gives examples of how it occurs at individual and cultural levels, and outlines potential ways to discern positive religious coping from harmful avoidance behaviors.