What if the answer to this question was "yes it can?" In the United States, transpersonal psychology has evolved since the 1960's to include many aspects of religion and spirituality to provide a more holistic approach to well-being and healing. One of its fundamental building blocks is the belief that individuals have natural or basic goodness. This means they are not born fundamentally flawed or evil, only to spend a lifetime trying to become good enough to finally arrive at a place where they are worthy of accomplishment and love. Can this more holistic approach really help the average person to lead a more fulfilling life? Can it help people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol or any other substance to heal? Other cultures believe it can and does help their societies to live in healthier ways.
In contrast, many westerners believe they are born in sin, inherently flawed, and must constantly seek forgiveness in order to be worthy individuals. Some believe they will never be worthy. Where low self-esteem and addiction is a problem this belief can be a great hindrance to the well-being of that individual and to their over-all healing process.