Supplements – Psychotherapy – 1. The Purpose of Psychotherapy
P-1.I.1. Very simply, the purpose of psychotherapy is to remove the blocks to truth. 2 Its aim is to aid the patient in abandoning his fixed delusional system, and to begin to reconsider the spurious cause and effect relationships on which it rests. 3 No one in this world escapes fear, but everyone can reconsider its causes and learn to evaluate them correctly. 4 God has given everyone a Teacher Whose wisdom and help far exceed whatever contributions an earthly therapist can provide. 5 Yet there are times and situations in which an earthly patient-therapist relationship becomes the means through which He offers His greater gifts to both.
P-1.I.2. What better purpose could any relationship have than to invite the Holy Spirit to enter into it and give it His Own great gift of rejoicing? 2 What higher goal could there be for anyone than to learn to call upon God and hear His Answer? 3 And what more transcendent aim can there be than to recall the way, the truth and the life, and to remember God? 4 To help in this is the proper purpose of psychotherapy. 5 Could anything be holier? 6 For psychotherapy, correctly understood, teaches forgiveness and helps the patient to recognize and accept it. 7 And in his healing is the therapist forgiven with him.
P-1.I.3. Everyone who needs help, regardless of the form of his distress, is attacking himself, and his peace of mind is suffering in consequence. 2 These tendencies are often described as "self-destructive," and the patient often regards them in that way himself. 3 What he does not realize and needs to learn is that this "self," which can attack and be attacked as well, is a concept he made up. 4 Further, he cherishes it, defends it, and is sometimes even willing to "sacrifice" his "life" on its behalf. 5 For he regards it as himself. 6 This self he sees as being acted on, reacting to external forces as they demand, and helpless midst the power of the world.
P-1.I.4. Psychotherapy, then, must restore to his awareness the ability to make his own decisions. 2 He must become willing to reverse his thinking, and to understand that what he thought projected its effects on him were made by his projections on the world. 3 The world he sees does therefore not exist. 4 Until this is at least in part accepted, the patient cannot see himself as really capable of making decisions. 5 And he will fight against his freedom because he thinks that it is slavery.
P-1.I.5. The patient need not think of truth as God in order to make progress in salvation. 2 But he must begin to separate truth from illusion, recognizing that they are not the same, and becoming increasingly willing to see illusions as false and to accept the truth as true. 3 His Teacher will take him on from there, as far as he is ready to go. 4 Psychotherapy can only save him time. 5 The Holy Spirit uses time as He thinks best, and He is never wrong. 6 Psychotherapy under His direction is one of the means He uses to save time, and to prepare additional teachers for His work. 7 There is no end to the help that He begins and He directs. 8 By whatever routes He chooses, all psychotherapy leads to God in the end. 9 But that is up to Him. 10 We are all His psychotherapists, for He would have us all be healed in Him.