Supplements – Psychotherapy – 2. The Process of Psychotherapy – II. The Place of Religion in Psychotherapy
P-2.II.1. To be a teacher of God, it is not necessary to be religious or even to believe in God to any recognizable extent. 2 It is necessary, however, to teach forgiveness rather than condemnation. 3 Even in this, complete consistency is not required, for one who had achieved that point could teach salvation completely, within an instant and without a word. 4 Yet he who has learned all things does not need a teacher, and the healed have no need for a therapist. 5 Relationships are still the temple of the Holy Spirit, and they will be made perfect in time and restored to eternity.
P-2.II.2. Formal religion has no place in psychotherapy, but it also has no real place in religion. 2 In this world, there is an astonishing tendency to join contradictory words into one term without perceiving the contradiction at all. 3 The attempt to formalize religion is so obviously an ego attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable that it hardly requires elaboration here. 4 Religion is experience; psychotherapy is experience. 5 At the highest levels they become one. 6 Neither is truth itself, but both can lead to truth. 7 What can be necessary to find truth, which remains perfectly obvious, but to remove the seeming obstacles to true awareness?
P-2.II.3. No one who learns to forgive can fail to remember God. 2 Forgiveness, then, is all that need be taught, because it is all that need be learned. 3 All blocks to the remembrance of God are forms of unforgiveness, and nothing else. 4 This is never apparent to the patient, and only rarely so to the therapist. 5 The world has marshalled all its forces against this one awareness, for in it lies the ending of the world and all it stands for.
P-2.II.4. Yet it is not the awareness of God that constitutes a reasonable goal for psychotherapy. 2 This will come when psychotherapy is complete, for where there is forgiveness truth must come. 3 It would be unfair indeed if belief in God were necessary to psychotherapeutic success. 4 Nor is belief in God a really meaningful concept, for God can be but known. 5 Belief implies that unbelief is possible, but knowledge of God has no true opposite. 6 Not to know God is to have no knowledge, and it is to this that all unforgiveness leads. 7 And without knowledge one can have only belief.
P-2.II.5. Different teaching aids appeal to different people. 2 Some forms of religion have nothing to do with God, and some forms of psychotherapy have nothing to do with healing. 3 Yet if pupil and teacher join in sharing one goal, God will enter into their relationship because He has been invited to come in. 4 In the same way, a union of purpose between patient and therapist restores the place of God to ascendance, first through Christ's vision and then through the memory of God Himself. 5 The process of psychotherapy is the return to sanity. 6 Teacher and pupil, therapist and patient, are all insane or they would not be here. 7 Together they can find a pathway out, for no one will find sanity alone.
P-2.II.6. If healing is an invitation to God to enter into His Kingdom, what difference does it make how the invitation is written? 2 Does the paper matter, or the ink, or the pen? 3 Or is it he who writes that gives the invitation? 4 God comes to those who would restore His world, for they have found the way to call to Him. 5 If any two are joined, He must be there. 6 It does not matter what their purpose is, but they must share it wholly to succeed. 7 It is impossible to share a goal not blessed by Christ, for what is unseen through His eyes is too fragmented to be meaningful.
P-2.II.7. As true religion heals, so must true psychotherapy be religious. 2 But both have many forms, because no good teacher uses one approach to every pupil. 3 On the contrary, he listens patiently to each one, and lets him formulate his own curriculum; not the curriculum's goal, but how he can best reach the aim it sets for him. 4 Perhaps the teacher does not think of God as part of teaching. 5 Perhaps the psychotherapist does not understand that healing comes from God. 6 They can succeed where many who believe they have found God will fail.
P-2.II.8. What must the teacher do to ensure learning? 2 What must the therapist do to bring healing about? 3 Only one thing; the same requirement salvation asks of everyone. 4 Each one must share one goal with someone else, and in so doing, lose all sense of separate interests. 5 Only by doing this is it possible to transcend the narrow boundaries the ego would impose upon the self. 6 Only by doing this can teacher and pupil, therapist and patient, you and I, accept Atonement and learn to give it as it was received.
P-2.II.9. Communion is impossible alone. 2 No one who stands apart can receive Christ's vision. 3 It is held out to him, but he cannot hold out his hand to receive it. 4 Let him be still and recognize his brother's need is his own. 5 And let him then meet his brother's need as his and see that they are met as one, for such they are. 6 What is religion but an aid in helping him to see that this is so? 7 And what is psychotherapy except a help in just this same direction? 8 It is the goal that makes these processes the same, for they are one in purpose and must thus be one in means.