Page 2, 2nd December 1960

2nd December 1960
Page 2
Page 2, 2nd December 1960 — S IR,-I am sorry to disagree with a fellow-convert, the more
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Psychotherapy

Page 2 from 18th November 1960

S IR,-I am sorry to disagree with a fellow-convert, the more

so because 1 deeply share his eagerness that a proper understanding be reached by those concerned of the relation between the Sacraments and psychotherapy in healing men.tal illness.

Possibly I have an advantage over your correspondent by being nature needs different treatment for a medical person, a psychiatrist, sickness.

and a trained Freudian psycho1 know that this is a simplifica analyst. This makes it easier for tion But complexity does not me to know that mental illness really further our shared desire for of all kinds is indeed illness in better public understanding of the medical sense: it is not simply mental illness. 1 do agree that due to tradition that psychiatry is there is indeed a difficulty for a branch of medicine: it is because priests and psychotherapists, but the fields of interplay between think it is really a very subtle one, physical and mental disorder are the heart of it possibly hidden

so complex that only a suitably somewhere in the undefined distrained medical person is qualified tinction between theological to undertake clinical responsibility (moral) guilt and psychopatholofor a mentally ill patient-respongical guilt.

sihility which often rightly includes It is not easy to be clear about delegating treatment to a nonthis question, especially in our medical psychotherapist. present climate of degradation of I say this not out of rigid prothe science of psychology; but 1 fessionalism, but in order to introhave little doubt that it was under

duce my contention that the prostood by St. Augustine and St. fessional duties of the priest on the Thomas Aquinas. and I hope to one hand, and of a doctor (or gain understanding through their therapist) on the other hand, tole istl0111

However, it must be horn in mind that "case co-ordination" may ethically only be done with the patient's full knowledge and consent. I myself find that patients invariably regard their spiritual welfare as no business of the psychiatrist; and I would be surprised if they did not object to their priest knowing the more intimate aspects of their emotional problems.

I think that in practice people find this division of function both natural and honest; and it is the same division as that made by Fr. (Moberly at the Dublin congress, with which your correspondent disagrees.

Your correspondent however claims that an overlap of training and function between priest and therapist is necessary in the interests of serving "the whole man". I think that this phrase represents the crux of my difference with him. While we are, of course, each one of us one and indivisible, soul, mind, and body, nevertheless we nourish our souls with the Sacraments, our minds with knowledge, and our bodies with food. Correspondingly, each part of our




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