PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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442         PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
As an officer in spiritual hygiene, when he enters the sick chamber, what he is will avail more than anything he says, for the sick are, as a rule, far more suggestible than the whole. If he is the kind of person who lives in an atmosphere of holiness, his coming will, ipso facto, bring peace and healing with it. His calm and confident bearing will comfort and strengthen the sick person, and bring fresh light and hope into his life.
It is his vocation to bring men into a proper relationship with God on the one hand and their fellow-men on the other, to teach them how to develop their spiritual faculties and to carry their religion into everyday life ; to enable them to meet all the complications of life with a quiet mind and to face death itself unafraid. In a time when excellent sermons are broadcast on the wireless and very often admirably illustrated on the screen, the chief concern of the priesthood is still the same as ever worship. The ideal public worship can be achieved only by a wholesome congregation ; and to this end the minister should work ' in season and out of season \ Perhaps when the individual ministry is realized as an essential part of the public worship, that too will be undertaken in the physician of the soul's white surplice.
We have seen that all these ' functional ' nervous disorders are caused essentially by the sufferer being self-centred and unable to cope with the difficulties of life. What is this but the negation of true Christian principles ? The value of confession was appreciated by the Church centuries before the discovery of psychoanalysis. If carried out according to the manner of Christ it gives the priest a special opportunity of helping his parishioners to resolve their spiritual difficulties and conflicts. The confession will also be fruitful in opportunities of relieving the sense of guilt which is at the root of so much neurosis