A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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xii                     WHO IS QUALIFIED FOR THE TASK ?                   441
will be called upon to help. ' The time has come ', writes Professor Mackenzie, ' when every minister ought to have some knowledge of the psychology of the human soul ; when he ought to receive in his curriculum a thorough grounding in the conflicts which lead to the divided soul ; when he ought to know the principles of mental healing ' {Methodist Recorder, March 20, 1924).
Naturally not all clergy can become expert psychotherapists, nor is it necessarily desirable that they should ; but much good might be done if they could work hand in hand with psychotherapists in the same way as many of them already collaborate with the medical profession. The ills of the psyche are even more his concern, and, if he could not himself deal with the more difficult of the cases, he might act as a clearing-house where those who needed serious treatment could be diagnosed and recommended to specialists.
The demands on the ministry are immense because the work, both public and individual, calls for a varied and delicate technique. His office requires that he shall be an effective preacher, a skilled teacher, an adept in the management of public worship, a competent scholar and theologian ; it also demands of him the knowledge, tact, and skill of the trained physician of souls, able to guide the spiritual and moral life of those whose ' cure' is laid upon him. ' Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God.' In that spirit the Christian minister will seek to equip himself as far as possible with the special knowledge and skill appropriate to each of the two main branches of his work, his public and private ministrations. He must know how to attempt both if he is to fulfil his duty of feeding the flock entrusted to him and of seeking the lost; and he must be prepared to go on learning all his life.
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