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The Purpose of Psychotherapy

1. Psychotherapy is the only form of therapy there is.²Since only the mind can be sick, only the mind can be healed.³Only the mind is in need of healing.⁴This does not appear to be the case, for the manifestations of this world seem real indeed.⁵Psychotherapy is necessary so that an individual can begin to question their reality.⁶Sometimes he is able to start to open his mind without formal help, but even then it is always some change in his perception of interpersonal relationships that enables him to do so. ⁷Sometimes he needs a more structured, extended relationship with an “official” therapist. ⁸Either way, the task is the same; the patient must be helped to change his mind about the “reality” of illusions.

1. Very simply, the purpose of psychotherapy is to remove the blocks to truth. ²Its 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. ³No one in this world escapes fear, but everyone can reconsider its causes and learn to evaluate them correctly. ⁴God has given everyone a Teacher Whose wisdom and help far exceed whatever contributions an earthly therapist can provide. ⁵Yet there are times and situations in which an earthly patient-therapist relationship becomes the means through which He offers His greater gifts to both.

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? ²What higher goal could there be for anyone than to learn to call upon God and hear His Answer? ³And what more transcendent aim can there be than to recall the way, the truth and the life, and to remember God? ⁴To help in this is the proper purpose of psychotherapy. ⁵Could anything be holier? ⁶For psychotherapy, correctly understood, teaches forgiveness and helps the patient to recognize and accept it. ⁷And in his healing is the therapist forgiven with him.

3. Everyone who needs help, regardless of the form of his distress, is attacking himself, and his peace of mind is suffering in consequence. ²These tendencies are often described as “self-destructive,” and the patient often regards them in that way himself. ³What 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. ⁴Further, he cherishes it, defends it, and is sometimes even willing to “sacrifice” his “life” on its behalf. ⁵For he regards it as himself. ⁶This self he sees as being acted on, reacting to external forces as they demand, and helpless midst the power of the world.

4. Psychotherapy, then, must restore to his awareness the ability to make his own decisions. ²He 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. ³The world he sees does therefore not exist. ⁴Until this is at least in part accepted, the patient cannot see himself as really capable of making decisions. ⁵And he will fight against his freedom because he thinks that it is slavery.

5. The patient need not think of truth as God in order to make progress in salvation. ²But 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. ³His Teacher will take him on from there, as far as he is ready to go. ⁴Psychotherapy can only save him time. ⁵The Holy Spirit uses time as He thinks best, and He is never wrong. ⁶Psychotherapy under His direction is one of the means He uses to save time, and to prepare additional teachers for His work. ⁷There is no end to the help that He begins and He directs. ⁸By whatever routes He chooses, all psychotherapy leads to God in the end. ⁹But that is up to Him. ¹⁰We are all His psychotherapists, for He would have us all be healed in Him.

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