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April 6, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – It’s undeniable that there are millions of people in the world today struggling with mental and spiritual illness. I often think to myself: If only they were aware of the work of Conrad Baars, they could be living the life God desires them to live.

Conrad Baars was a Catholic psychiatrist born in the Netherlands in 1919. He incorporated the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas into his practice after initially following the theories of Sigmund Freud. On my podcast today, I spoke with Christopher McDonald, a Catholic therapist, about how he uses Baars’ teachings at to help those who are suffering.

McDonald told me that one of the most important aspects of Baars’ philosophy is the idea of affirmation. No, not the “affirmation” that the world uses to deceptively encourage people to continue living in sin, but the type of affirmation that helps people strive for holiness.

“Affirmation … has nothing to do with positive statements that we say to ourselves or to others,” he told me. “Affirmation is the idea to reaffirm, to make solid a person. Jesus is the model … [affirmation is] simply love.”

McDonald also said that he believes the true pandemic going on in the world today is the “lack of affirmation.” It’s the lack of the nuclear family unit and the strength that parents give to children, he said. “This is having a devastating effect on the children who grow up and they're not adequately affirmed, so they cannot adequately affirm their [own] children. And it goes on and on. You see the slow erosion in family, the slow erosion of society.”

“We live in a culture of the un-affirmed,” he continued. “There is affirmation where there is authentic love.”

To learn more about Conrad Baars and his Catholic approach to psychology, visit the website for the Baars Institue by clicking here or by viewing his Amazon author page by clicking here.

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John-Henry is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of He and his wife Dianne and their eight children live in the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.

He has spoken at conferences and retreats, and appeared on radio and television throughout North America, Europe and Asia. John-Henry founded the Rome Life Forum an annual strategy meeting for pro-life leaders worldwide. He co-founded Voice of the Family and serves on the executive of the Canadian National March for Life Committee, and the annual National Pro-Life Youth Conference.

He is a consultant to Canada’s largest pro-life organization Campaign Life Coalition, and serves on the executive of the Ontario branch of the organization.  He has run three times for political office in the province of Ontario representing the Family Coalition Party.

John-Henry earned an MA from the University of Toronto in School and Child Clinical Psychology and an Honours BA from York University in Psychology.


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