Supplements – Psychotherapy – 2. The Process of Psychotherapy – I. The Limits on Psychotherapy

P-2.I.1. Yet the ideal outcome is rarely achieved. 2 Therapy begins with the realization that healing is of the mind, and in psychotherapy those have come together who already believe this. 3 It may be they will not get much further, for no one learns beyond his own readiness. 4 Yet levels of readiness change, and when therapist or patient has reached the next one, there will be a relationship held out to them that meets the changing need. 5 Perhaps they will come together again and advance in the same relationship, making it holier. 6 Or perhaps each of them will enter into another commitment. 7 Be assured of this; each will progress. 8 Retrogression is temporary. 9 The overall direction is one of progress toward the truth.

P-2.I.2. Psychotherapy itself cannot be creative. 2 This is one of the errors which the ego fosters; that it is capable of true change, and therefore of true creativity. 3 When we speak of "the saving illusion" or "the final dream," this is not what we mean, but here is the ego's last defense. 4 "Resistance" is its way of looking at things; its interpretation of progress and growth. 5 These interpretations will be wrong of necessity, because they are delusional. 6 The changes the ego seeks to make are not really changes. 7 They are but deeper shadows, or perhaps different cloud patterns. 8 Yet what is made of nothingness cannot be called new or different. 9 Illusions are illusions; truth is truth.

P-2.I.3. Resistance as defined here can be characteristic of a therapist as well as of a patient. 2 Either way, it sets a limit on psychotherapy because it restricts its aims. 3 Nor can the Holy Spirit fight against the intrusions of the ego on the therapeutic process. 4 But He will wait, and His patience is infinite. 5 His goal is wholly undivided always. 6 Whatever resolutions patient and therapist reach in connection with their own divergent goals, they cannot become completely reconciled as one until they join with His. 7 Only then is all conflict over, for only then can there be certainty.

P-2.I.4. Ideally, psychotherapy is a series of holy encounters in which brothers meet to bless each other and to receive the peace of God. 2 And this will one day come to pass for every "patient" on the face of this earth, for who except a patient could possibly have come here? 3 The therapist is only a somewhat more specialized teacher of God. 4 He learns through teaching, and the more advanced he is the more he teaches and the more he learns. 5 But whatever stage he is in, there are patients who need him just that way. 6 They cannot take more than he can give for now. 7 Yet both will find sanity at last.

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