Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice: Purpose
Purpose of Psychotherapy
Paragraph 1. “Very simply, the purpose of psychotherapy is to remove the blocks to truth.” (P-I.1.l:1)
Truth is within each of you, in the altar to the Father and the Son. Blocking you from that inner truth, are all the false beliefs and wants and desires of things that you think you want, that you think are valuable and worth seeking in this world.
Yet, as you try this, and try that, sooner or later you discover that what you seek and find are not what you want or wanted after all. You discover this because the satisfaction and contentment that you have expected to receive through seeking these “worldly” things, in “worldly” ways, has not been forthcoming. It has not satisfied more than a little bit, and not for long either – if at all. In some situations, you have even found abject, morose dissatisfaction and discontentment – even to the point of severe pain and isolation, even unto “death."
In fact, the more you SEEK and DO NOT FIND, the more dissatisfied and discontent you become. You appear to “have” more, but to enjoy it less. Therefore you are resigned to conclude that perhaps you have not been seeking and finding joy, instead you have been seeking “things” and hoping (and often expecting) that these “things” would provide you with joy. You are now beginning to see that you have sought wrongly, and are ready (yes?) for a new way of looking at things? A new way of seeking? You are now ready to SEEK AND FIND. Yet, how?
“The aim of psychotherapy 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.” (P-I.1.l:2)
The first step, then, in seeing things differently, is to consider Who or what has been directing your seeking. The ego’s motto is to SEEK AND DO NOT FIND. The Holy Spirit’s goal is to guide you in directions that will lead you to FINDING, and to finding your way home to “The Peace of God that Surpasses All Understanding”. In all honesty (which you have not as yet reached), would it behoove you to choose a Guide through this world that has YOUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART, rather than a guide who deliberately misleads you so as to retain its control over you? The ego wants to maintain its charge over you. The Holy Spirit only wants to set you FREE. YOU ASK the Holy Spirit to be in charge.
Jesus says you have a Kingdom You Must Rule. That kingdom is your MIND. YOU must rule your minds with the help of the Holy Spirit. That is how you rise above the illusions of the world; That is how you rise above the rule of the ego – into your minds being gently yet firmly guided by love; not erratically ruled by fear and worry.
Jesus says “No one in this world escapes fear, but everyone can reconsider the causes and learn to evaluate them correctly.” (P-I.1.l:3) You learn this from your Teacher Whose wisdom and help far exceed whatever contributions an earthly therapist can provide. “Yet there are times and situations in which an earthly patient-therapist relationship becomes the means through which He offers His greater gifts to both the patient and the therapist.” (P-l.1.l:6) So take this moment to again offer, to invite, and to dedicate this class to the Holy Spirit, that He may lead you, through Love and Guidance, back into the light from which you never truly left. AMEN
Paragraph 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? (P-I.1.2:1)
“To forgive is merely to remember only the loving thoughts you gave in the past, and those that were given you. All the rest must be forgotten. Forgiveness is a selective remembering, based not on your selection.” (T-17.III.1:1-2) It is called ‘”celestial remembering.”
“All this you will do gladly, if you but let Him hold the spark before you, to light your way and make it clear to you . . .This (the love) is the only part of the relationship the Holy Spirit sees, because He knows that only this is true. . . .Give the past to Him Who can change your mind about it for you.” (T-17.III.7:1,6,9)
“My holy brother, I would enter into all your relationships, and step between you and your fantasies. Let my relationship to you be real to you, and let me bring reality to your perception of your brothers . . . They were created to create with you . . . Let me enter in the Name of God and bring you peace . . .” (T-17.III.10:1-2,4,8)
A holy relationship, then, is a relationship in which the Holy Spirit has been invited to light the way, and to enable you to leave the past behind, and to see only the loveliness that is between and before, in and around you both. Jesus would enter into all relationships to bring reality to it. Since you have been questioning the “reality” you have been experiencing, what better place to start experiencing the truth than in your relationships? (For a deeper study of relationships, see T-17.III.all, entitled “Shadows of the Past.”)
“What higher goal could there be for anyone than to learn to call upon God and hear His Answer?”
For way too long you have been calling upon the ego to answer your questions. The Course states that the ego answers first, and then is corrected by the Spirit. Yet all too often you accept the first answer you hear; you listen to what you call your “instinct” or “intuition” and fail to wait just that instant more for the Holy Spirit to offer His correction to the ego or your "feelings.” A moment more and His Answer will be heard. A moment more and all the thousands of ramifications that follow the ego’s answer can be avoided.
You must learn to call upon God and to hear His Answers, to follow His Answers, and only joy and peace and happiness will follow. And that is the test. If joy and peace and love and happiness are present in the answer, then it is His Answer. You know the expression “wait for it . . .wait for it . . .” Wait for His Answer. If the ego speaks first, then call upon God and instead hear His Answer. Take that extra moment. It will save you thousands of years of delay and aggravation and struggle in finding your way home to God. Be still now -- and know.
“What more transcendent aim can there be than to recall the Way, the Truth and the Life, and to remember God?” (P-I.1.2:3) “To help in this is the proper purpose of psychotherapy. Could anything be holier? For psychotherapy, correctly understood, teaches forgiveness and helps the patient to recognize and accept it. And in his healing is the therapist forgiven with him.” (P-I.1.2:4)
Jesus says that you are never healed alone. That you will not go home alone, nor can you. You are all in “this” together, and you will all leave the idea of this world together. So do not think that you may effectively leave anyone out of your love, and still go home. It is “all or nothing at all.”
To help you include everyone in the healing, simply remember that every thing, every word, every action - is either a “call for love” or a “reflection of love.” Have only loving thoughts in your mind, and you will have only loving thoughts toward everyone. No one will be left out, because there will be no gap in your mind where love is absent. Simple, yes?
Paragraph 3. “Everyone who needs help, regardless of the form of his distress, is attacking himself, and his peace of mind is suffering in consequence.” (P-I.1.3:l)
These tendencies are referred to as self-destructive, or even self-sabotaging. When you call for help from your brothers, you often do so through a process called projection. You seem to be attacking or blaming your brothers for what you perceive they have done to make your lot in life not so comfortable, in order to deflect the responsibility either for the action or the result upon yourselves.
This has a dual purpose. First, you do not have to shoulder the blame, which means you do not have to accept the guilt that comes with the blame, nor the resulting punishment that is often inherent with blame and guilt. But a far more productive purpose in the process of projection is that you get to see your projections reflected back to you by your brother. It is in this sense that your brother is deemed your “savior,” as he shows you a reflection of what you have been reluctant or afraid to see in yourselves.
The process only works, however, if you are aware of the process of projection, and can then learn from it. Else you would go through your lives, constantly blaming and projecting your mistakes/guilt upon others so you will not see that they originated with you, with your thoughts. The patient must be willing to reverse his way of thinking. He must understand that what he thought had effects ON HIM, was actually made BY HIM, by his projections onto the world.
All this projection is made up, as is the idea of the self (lower case “s”). This made-up idea is often cherished and protected, even unto death – until the patient sees and understands it is not real. But eventually you will see the truth, that it is your minds that are making these things appear to happen, and then you are in line for gentle correction through forgiveness.
The recognition of the process of projection can take a very long “time,” but this “time” can be shortened through psychotherapy – so here you are, studying psychotherapy, and thus shortening time.
Paragraph 4. “Psychotherapy, then, must restore the patient’s awareness the ability to make his own decisions.” (P-I.1.4:1)
This is a key point. There are many so-called “decisions” that must be made in this world. It is therefore important to be a strong and accurate decision-maker, to make decisions where everyone “wins” and no one “loses”, where everyone is loved, and no one is excluded.
The world you see does not exist. It is a fabrication made by the ego mind to separate you from the truth that God is real, and the ego is not. Until the patient accepts this as even partly true, the patient cannot even begin to see reality, or to make correct decisions, or to accept himself as sane. And he will fight against all therapy that would teach him otherwise; he will fight against freedom, and for continued slavery – because he does not see that truth is freedom. He will think it slavery as long as his thinking is upside down. So how does the “breakthrough” come?
Paragraph 5. “The patient need not think of truth as God in order to make progress in salvation (a promise made by God that you will find your way to Him at last). But 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.” (P-I.1.5:1-2)
This is the undertaking of the Holy Spirit, the patient’s internal Teacher, assigned to him by God, to bring the patient home. The Holy Spirit has promised God that He will do that. And the Holy Spirit will keep His promise; be assured of this.
The Holy Spirit will use time as He sees best (and He is never wrong), leading the patient gently but surely through the experiences, the encounters, the relationships and the thoughts that will bring him home in the shortest time possible. He understands every thought the patient has, every impulse, and every nuance of his experience in the illusion, and He has the correction for each one. A miracle* a minute . . .
Through the process of psychotherapy, the Holy Spirit will prepare additional teachers to aid Him in His work. By whatever routes He chooses, all psychotherapy leads to God in the end. “We are all his psychotherapists, for He would have us all healed in Him.” (P-I.1.5:10)
So as you continue, you will study the PROCESS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY. You will begin to change your present view of the self, to a more beneficent view of the Self. So stay tuned . . .
*A miracle is a correction introduced into false thinking by Jesus. It acts as a catalyst, breaking up erroneous perception and reorganizing it properly. This places you under the Atonement** principle, where perception is healed. Until this has occurred, knowledge of the Divine Order is impossible. (T-1.I.38:1-4)
**Miracles are part of an interlocking chain of forgiveness which, when completed, is the Atonement. (T-1.I.25:1)