A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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1936 he was able to state definitely that he had not met a single patient who had ultimately discarded religion as a result of analysis. At first they might say that religion meant little to them, but after they had faced fundamentals and the deeper metaphysical implications of existence, they admitted that true religion as distinct from forms and ceremonies was ultimately the one important thing in life. Thus he was led to say : That for psychology, ' deep analysis of every kind is different from confession ; but if deep analysis is adequate, it may ultimately lead to confession, to a need in the individual for absolution and for a reorganizing of life in relation to a spiritual universe and in relation to religious experience 3I (pp. 205-206). Consequently we are not surprised at the statement of Prinzhorn that ' We must not forget that the analyst is not sitting there simply as the neutral receiver of reports and confessions, dreams and ideas, but must interpret, and also estimate, whether he will or not. ... His efficacy consists in the fact that he grants absolution, and, above all, his power over the minds of his patients . . . consists, to a very considerable extent, in this power borrowed from the priest/
Psychoanalysis has been accused of condoning loose sex morality, but in the infancy of the movement when some of his disciples showed an inclination to sanction laxity in this direction, Freud published letters which manifested strong disapproval of this tendency.
Perhaps the story recorded in John viii, 1-11 throws some light upon both confession and analysis. While Jesus was teaching in the Temple the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman who had been taken in the act of adultery, and, reminding Him that Moses had commanded that such people should be stoned, asked Jesus what He had to say about the matter. After writing on the ground with His finger, Jesus said,