The Connections Paradigm
Ancient Jewish Wisdom for Modern Mental Health
This book introduces an approach to mental health that dates back 3,000 years to an ancient body of Jewish spiritual wisdom. Known as the Connections Paradigm, the millennia-old method has been empirically shown to alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. After being passed down from generation to generation and tested in clinical settings with private clients, it is presented here for the first time to a wide audience.
The idea behind the paradigm is that human beings, at any given moment, are either “connected” or “disconnected” across three key relationships. To be “connected” means to be in a loving, harmonious, and fulfilling relationship; to be “disconnected” means, of course, the opposite. The three relationships are those between our souls and our bodies, ourselves and others, and ourselves and God.
These relationships are hierarchal; each depends on the one that precedes it. This means that we can only connect with God to the extent that we connect with others, and we cannot connect with others if we don’t connect with ourselves. The author, Dr. David H. Rosmarin, devotes a section to each relationship, and describes techniques and practices to become a more connected individual. He also brings in compelling stories from his clinical practice to show the process in action.
Whether you’re a clinician working with clients, or a person seeking the healing balm of wisdom; whether you’re a member of the Jewish faith, or a person open to new spiritual perspectives, you will find this book sensible, practical, and timely, because, for all of us, connection leads to mental health.
Introduction / 1
Introduction to Inner Connection: Body and Soul / 13
Inner Connection Part I: Accepting the Soul’s Guidance / 35
Inner Connection Part II: Loving the Body and Providing for Its Needs / 51
Inner Connection Part III: Expressing Needs and Raising Issues to the Soul / 64
Inner Connection Part IV: Tolerating the Body’s Idiosyncrasies with Love and Patience / 78
Introduction to Interpersonal Connection / 92
Interpersonal Connection Part I: Three Levels of Noticing the Needs of Others / 108
Interpersonal Connection Part II: Providing for the Needs of Others / 121
Interpersonal Connection Part III: Noticing Our Disconnection from Others / 135
Interpersonal Connection Part IV: Remaining Connected to Others / 147
Introduction to Spiritual Connection / 159
Spiritual Connection Part I: Recognizing Our Limited Scope of Control / 171
Spiritual Connection Part II: Recognizing God’s Order and Design in the World / 188
Spiritual Connection Part III: Developing a Godly Vision / 202
Spiritual Connection Part IV: Exerting Heroic Efforts for God / 219
Conclusion / 235
Acknowledgments / 251
“A leading voice in the psychology of religion and its application to mental health problems, Dr. Rosmarin has given faith-based providers an entirely new language for how to intertwine spiritual, interpersonal, and mental health domains in the interests of clinical care. This innovative volume shows how ancient Jewish teachings on the relation of body and soul can be combined with a broad array of modern evidence-based approaches to psychological care, from exposure to experiential acceptance, from nutrition to interpersonal compassion. There is a significant body of science showing that embedding evidence-based intervention into a spiritual journey is a powerful combination for people of faith, but providers need a more general approach that stands one step above the details of particular religious commitments. Filled with clinical examples, this book radiates kindness and empathic concern, and its use of ‘body and soul’ could be effective with a wide range of people of faith.”
“Dr. Rosmarin has done a great mental health service for the general public. With so many today beset by anxiety and depression, and tiring of modern answers that feel superficial, The Connections Paradigm offers a profound, centuries-old method to relieve mental distress, enhance life’s most important relationships, and achieve genuine peace of mind.”
“The Connections Paradigm is not only timely, but Dr. David Rosmarin’s careful attention to its rich tradition alongside its practical relevance for each of us is a gift. I am truly grateful for how well he unpacks these three critical forms of connection—Inner Connection, Interpersonal Connection, and Spiritual Connection—with such clarity alongside the relatable stories he weaves throughout this book!”
"Infused with the warmth and wisdom of Judaism, this book offers a deeply thoughtful psychological and spiritual guide for those seeking greater connectedness within themselves, with others, and with God. Drawing on poignant stories from his own clinical practice, Rosmarin illustrates how a ‘connections paradigm’ can foster transformations among people facing the full range of psychological problems. This book will deepen the practice of many providers and the lives of many clients."
“David Rosmarin has compiled a thoughtful and relatable guide to help us reconnect with our body and soul. He shares practical instructions that are supported by theory, case studies and ancient Jewish spiritual teachings to show that we can live more fully when we are truly connected to all our parts. The Connections Paradigm is good for the body, mind, and soul.”
“Jung famously claimed that every patient he treated over age thirty-five needed in the end to find a spiritual outlook on life. In The Connections Paradigm, mental and spiritual health are beautifully intertwined, and Jewish wisdom becomes a stabilizing and uplifting force in an often dark and confusing world.”
“Written in a lucid and graceful style, and full of applicable case studies, this book turns out to be an authoritative statement on the importance of spirituality in mental health. I highly recommend The Connection Paradigm either as a self-help guide or as a blueprint for interventions by mental health professionals. The cure for human suffering lies in healing the brokenness in a divided self, conflict in relationships, and separation from God.”