Christian Cyclopedia

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Psalms as Hymns.

Many Psalms were written for use in pub. worship, as their superscriptions and dedications show. The Hallel (Ps 113–118) is assoc. with Passover and other Jewish festivals; some think the hymn mentioned Mt 26:30 and Mk 14:26 was Ps 115–118, others Ps 136 (which rabbis called Great Hallel). Various assocs. have been suggested for the Psalms of Degrees, including the annual festivals in Jerusalem.

Christians probably used OT Psalms from the beginning. The “psalm” mentioned 1 Co 14:26 is not necessarily from the OT The psalms mentioned Eph 5:19 and Cl 3:16 may refer (but not necessarily exclusively) to OT psalms. The noun “psalms” in Ja 5:13 KJV is not in the original (cf. RSV “sing praise”). Scripture does not require exclusive use of OT Psalms in their original form. Metrical versions of Psalms include “The Lord's My Shepherd, I'll Not Want” (Ps 23); “The Man Is Ever Blest” (Ps 1).

Psalm Tones

(Ger. Psalmtöne). Psalmody holds an intermediate position bet. accentus* and concentus. There are 8 traditional psalm tones, corresponding to the 8 kinds of octaves (Ger. Oktavengattungen) in ancient music. In course of time a 9th, for. (tonus peregrinus), or “irregular,” tone was added, which is usually treated as a separate tone since opinions regarding it differ. It occurs in the antiphons Nos qui vivimus, Martyres domini, and Angeli domini and found Luth. use for the Magnificat and Benediction. Each psalm tone is individually determined (1) by the reciting tone (see Intonation) of the psalm, which is always the dominant note of the scale; (2) by the inflection that ends the 1st half of the verse; (3) by the inflection at the end of the 2d half of the verse, which need not end on the tonic note. Each psalm tone has a festal and a ferial form. In the ferial form the initial notes leading to the reciting tone (initium; inchoatio; intonatio; incipit) are omitted, and the middle part (mediation; mediante; medium; mediatio; Ger. Mitte) is simplified by resolving the ligatures and substituting syllabic chanting. The ferial form is used, e.g., on ordinary Sundays and during the week; the festal form, e.g., on festivals and for the Magnificat and Benedictus. See also Ambrosian Music; Gregorian Music; Modes, ecclesiastical.

Psalter, English.

When other hymns were frowned on by some Ref., esp. in Gt. Brit., metrical versions of Psalms began to come into their own. Robert Crowley (ca. 1518–88; b. Gloucestershire, Eng.; educ. Oxford; printer; exiled under Mary* I; returned to Eng. under Elizabeth* I; held several positions as vicar and prebendary) is gen. regarded as the 1st to render the whole Psalter into Eng. verse (1549). Ca. the same time, perhaps as early as 1548, appeared the 1st ed. of 19 Psalms versified by Thomas Sternhold (ca. 1500–49; b. Southampton or near Blakeney, Eng.; educ. Oxford; groom of the chambers to Henry* VIII and Edward* VI); 2d ed. ca. 1549/51, with 18 more Psalms versified by Sternhold and 7 by John Hopkins (d. 1570); enlargement continued at Geneva during the reign of Mary I; this Genevan Psalter was put into use in Eng. on accession of Elizabeth I. Partial and complete versions of Psalms versified multiplied in Eng. and Scot. The 1st book pub. by Puritans in New Eng. was the “Bay Psalm Book” (1640), characterized by rigorous literalism. A New Version of the Psalms of David Fitted to the Tunes Used in Churches, by Nahum Tate (1652–1715; b. and educ. Ireland; hymns include “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night”) and Nicholas Brady (1659–1726; b. Bandon, Eng.; educ. Oxford and Dublin; held various positions) appeared 1696. Others who have versified Psalms include J. Addison,* T. Dwight* (1752–1817), J. Keble,* H. F. Lyte,* J. Montgomery,* I. Watts.*

Psellus, Michael Constantine

(Psellos; ca. 1018/20–ca. 1078). B. Constantinople or Nicomedia; Byzantine statesman, hist., philos., theol.; Imperial secy. and secy. of state; helped reest. U. of Constantinople; prof. philos. there; favored unity at time of 1054 schism (see Schism, 6) and was forced out; became monk, adopting the name Michael; soon returned to serve at court till 1072. Exponent of Neoplatonism* and Christian humanism.*

Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals

(False Decretals; Forged Decretals).

1. a. Collection of ecclesiastical documents, some genuine, some forged, made probably in Franconia in the 1st half of the 9th c. An earlier collection, based on that of Dionysius* Exiguus, had been erroneously attributed to Isidore* of Seville. The Frankish fraud also appeared under Isidore's name.

The Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals are divided into 3 parts: I. 50 apostolic canons; ca. 59/60 spurious decretals of Roman bps. (popes) from Clement I (see Apostolic Fathers, 1) to Miltiades* (Melchiades). II. The Donation* of Constantine (see also 2); tracts on the council of Nicaea; canons of the Gk., Afr., Gallic, and Sp. councils to 683. III. Decretals (including 35 spurious ones) of popes from Sylvester I (see Popes, 1) to Gregory II (ca. 669–731; b. Rome, It.; pope 715–731).

b. The spurious decretals are for the most part not complete forgeries but are rather based on the literature of theol. and canon law then existing, amplified or altered, and so formulated as to serve the purposes of the compiler(s) (see c). But the fraud is clumsy: (1) 2d–3d c. Roman bps. are made to write in the Frankish Lat. of the 9th c.; (2) they write in the spirit of post-Nicene orthodoxy; (3) they write on medieval relations of ch. and state; (4) they quote Scripture from post-Jerome translations; (5) a 3d-c. bp. writes to a 5th-c. bp. about the celebration of Easter.

c. Purpose of the Pseudo-Isidorian fraud was to extend into antiquity the papal claim of temporal power (see Pepin the Short) and to est. the pope as unquestioned ruling head of the ch. and its hierarchy. The fraud was perpetrated in an uncritical age. It was questioned by Nicholas* of Cusa, L. Valla,* M. Luther,* and J. Calvin* (Institutio religionis christianae, IV, vii, xi, xx), then unmasked by the authors of the Magdeburg* Centuries, finally revealed so clearly by D. Blondel* that RCs have also been openly convinced.

2. In the Donation of Constantine, Constantine* I is portrayed as confessing his faith and telling how he was converted and cured of leprosy by Sylvester I, as recognizing the primacy of the Roman bp., and as giving him the Lateran* palace, with imperial power in the W. That far exceeds donations by Constantine I to Sylvester I related in Acta Sylvestri and in a letter by Adrian* I to Charlemagne* perhaps ca. 778/780.

Psilanthropy

(psilanthropism; from Gk. psilos. “mere,” and anthropos, “man”). Doctrine that Christ was only man. See also Monarchianism, A.

Psychiana.

Religious cult, promoted mainly by mail; founded 1929 Moscow, Idaho, by F. B. Robinson*; mystical; opposed chs.; denied sin, atonement, future life, inspiration of the Bible; ridiculed all Christianity; emphasized health, happiness, prosperity.

Psychical Research.

Investigation of such phenomena as apparent telepathy, visions and apparitions, dowsing, automatism* (e.g., automatic writing), clairvoyance and clairaudience, coincidental dreams, monitions, physical phenomena of mediumship (e.g., materialization, rapping, telekinesis), precognition. predictions, psychokinesis, psychometry, extrasensory perception. The Soc. for Psychical Research was est. in Eng. 1882 by H. Sidgwick* et al. A similar soc. was est. in Am. 1885 through influence of W. James*; this society later adopted the name Am. Soc. for Psychical Research; membership stands only for investigation of alleged phenomena.

Psychoanalysis.

Method of investigating psychic content and mechanisms not readily accessible to voluntary exploration by the conscious mind. See also Psychotherapy, 14 a.

Psychology.

A. Definition. The word “psychology” is derived from Gk. psyche, “soul; mind,” and logos, “discourse; theory; science.” The word psyche was from early times also used in other senses, e.g., spirit, breath, and principle of life. The tendency now is to define psychology broadly as the science of experience and behavior. More specifically, it tries to understand, predict, and control human behavior.

The term “psychology” apparently was 1st used by Ger. scholars of the 16th c. Its 1st form seems to have been the Lat. psychologia. P. Melanchthon is said to have used the term as title of a prelection. It appears in 17th-c. med. writings: psychologia and somatotomia (or somatologia) were spoken of as the 2 parts of anthropologia. The term continued to appear in technical works but was not gen. used in modern languages till the 19th c.

B. Early Developments. Roots of naturalistic psychol. lie in early forms of mythology, not as a separate system of thought, but combined with, and woven into, a primitive culture. Attempts were made to explain life, including mental life, in a world that often appeared as more chaos than cosmos to the primitive mind. Man soon noted that human life is more than body, bone, muscle, and tissue. His dreams and imaginary flights, with the body asleep or at rest, required explanation. But concepts involving immaterial and incorporeal forms and substances are hard to grasp. Hence a double materialism developed. Soul or mind was thought of as vapor, air, blood, or some other material substance.

2. As in mythology, mental powers and forces came to be closely assoc. with the elements: air, fire, earth, water. The early form of the temperament theory is an example. Air was thought to be related to the sanguinary temperament, earth to the melancholic, fire to the choleric, water to the phlegmatic (see also Empedocles). Later the temperaments were thought to be based on the body fluids or humors. From these came through Claudius Galen(us) (Gallien; ca. 130/131 — perhaps ca. 200/201; Gk. physician; b. Pergamum, Asia Minor; settled in Rome, It., 164) the names of the main temperaments: sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, melancholic. The elemental basis and “humoral doctrine” were gradually abandoned.

3. The relation of psychol. to mythology is indicated by the personification of the soul as a princess named Psyche, so beautiful that even Venus became jealous of her and imposed many hardships on her.

C. Approach to Immaterial Concepts.

1. In Gk. philos. writings the explanation of soul, mind, reason, intelligence, and will was approached with a new vigor and placed on a higher intellectual level. In this period the philosophies of Plato* and Aristotle* were epochal. But here too soul, mind, intellective powers, and will were discussed as aspects of a broader philos. that took in a wide range of cosmological factors and human experiences.

2. Plato and Aristotle put psychical forces and forms on an immaterial basis, at least in part. Plato elevated consciousness into the realm of the spiritual. He considered the soul immortal and incapable of dissolution. To him the idea in its purest form was the ultimate in mental life, and matter was of secondary importance. God was the supreme mind. Apparently, man's soul was thought to be closely attached to, or part of, an immortal god or gods.

3. Aristotle also sought the ultimate of man's existence. He disagreed with Plato that ideas were the ultimate. He considered soul the actuality of the body and distinguished bet. souls of plants and animals, on the one hand, and the soul of man, on the other, the main difference being man's intellective capacity. Besides the 5 senses (sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch) he spoke of a common sense that is conscious and classifies and coordinates the sensory experiences. He distinguished bet. passive reason, which acts as a receptor for the senses, and active reason, which provides forms of thought, may exist apart from soul and body, and is immortal.

4. Plato and Aristotle lifted mental life from the material to the immaterial and systematized psychological thought in a cosmological frame. The influence of their philosophies on later movements of thought is little short of phenomenal.

D. Relationship to Christianity.

1. The basis for the Christian approach to psychology is laid in Gn. Man was created a being consisting of body and soul (Gn 2:7). Man was created in the image of God with the command and ability to be fruitful and rule over every living thing (Gn 1:27–28). Thus man's preeminent position in the order of creation was est. However, man is not a god, nor part of God, but a being separate from God, a creature. That Adam was an intellective being is evident from his ability to name every creature that passed before him (Gn 2:19–20). Man had a free will, subject only to the will of God. Knowledge of right and wrong was implanted in him, that he might subdue the earth and enjoy its fruits, but he was forbidden to eat “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (Gn 2:17). With the fall into sin came a stricken conscience, conflicts, a sense of guilt, even a projection of guilt, and with the promise of a Savior came faith and hope. Thus the basic concepts (soul, intellect, knowledge, free will, conscience, sense of guilt, conflicts, heredity, environment, emotion) were est.

2. Psychol. is not treated as a separate subject in the Bible. It is no more than an essential part of the framework of the Bible. Psychol. as a separate and distinct field of systematic activity is a development esp. of the 20th c. But many words and expressions in the Bible have a psychol. meaning or connotation. Psalms speak of the effects of emotions on man. Solomon pointed to the need of divine wisdom in a godly personality. Christ emphasized the need of translating knowledge into action. Paul speaks of the Christian's need to devote his whole being to the Lord's work, and he recognized individual differences (cf. Ro 12). The very essence of Christianity, man's possessing a soul, the immortality of the soul, the inspiration of the Bible, sin, forgiveness of sin and eternal life by grace through faith, regeneration and the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in and through Word and Sacraments, all have been stumbling blocks to philosophies, systems of logic, and psychologies based solely on naturalistic thought and effort.

3. It has been the determined and conscious purpose of Christians to guard these and other values against all encroachments. Not every effort of psychological thought and experimentation was condemned. Many Christians became properly interested in the study and explanation of mental phenomena.

E. Confluence of Theol. and Philos. in the Middle Ages.

1. After the apostolic age the cen. movement of thought was dominated by (1) the Christian religion; (2) the heritage of philos. and the classics; (3) current thought as represented by sects, cults, and ethnic groups. Theol. gradually assumed the leading role and held it through the Middle Ages. with philos., poetry, psychol., and logic playing ancillary roles.

2. Augustine* of Hippo was perhaps the greatest metaphysician of his age. He markedly influenced later thought. His writings cover many areas of theol. and human thought and experience. His Confessions, X, presents his psychological ideas in some detail. He considered soul the life-giving force. Apparently he separated soul and mind, the latter being a functional power. Both are immaterial. Man is superior to animals because of his reason and understanding. Augustine dealt with such concepts as sensation, reason, memory (or the act of remembering), learning, thinking, conscience, free will, dreams. He recognized 4 “perturbations of the mind”: desire, joy, fear, sorrow; in this he came close to the emotional theory of the modern behaviorists. He dwelt at length on memory, exalting its function and usefulness and calling it “the belly of the mind.”

3. Augustine was well acquainted with the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle and classical literature. He learned much from them but rejects them all as valid sources of information in spiritual matters. In the latter he gradually learned to depend on Scripture alone. He completely rejected astrology and similar practices.

4. Thomas* Aquinas, “the Christian Aristotle,” was first of all a theol. and churchman, but also a logician, philos., and psychol. His explanations of soul, mind, and emotions and systematic, encyclopedia, and metaphysical. His rigid logic and ideological conclusions have been called more metalogical (beyond or outside the scope of logic) than metaphysical.

5. Though greatly devoted to logic and inference, Thomas Aquinas held that in spiritual matters revelation is the only reliable source. But the line bet. revelation and reason had been blurred; Scripture no longer stood alone as accepted authority; ecclesiastical pronouncements, traditions, and legends had made deep inroads into all religious matters.

F. The Reformation and Psychology.

1. M. Luther* was educ. in the traditional materials and schools of thought of his era. He was acquainted with Gk. philos., the poetry and literature of the classics, the mixture of religion and reason in the ch. fathers, the systematized and finespun logic of the Scholastics, the creative efforts of the Renaissance, and the secular interests of humanism. He had a deep interest in the dignity and welfare of man and in est. the rights of the individual but was not concerned with developing a new system of philos. or psychol. He was dedicated to a return to Scripture as the sole basis for Christian faith and life. All human knowledge and activity was judged in light of God's Word. The simplest statement of God's natural gifts to man is summarized SC II, 2: “… I believe that God has … given me and still sustains my body and soul, all my limbs and senses. …”

2. Speculative philosophies, ecclesiastical fiats and legends, the black arts, horoscopy, and superstitions were critically examined and denounced in rugged terms as so much nonsense or the work of the devil. Adiaphora* were left open. Reasonable and sensible laws, decrees, and explanations were evaluated properly and given support.

3. Not all contemporary reformers and supporters of the Reformation followed Luther's pattern; some fell victim to humanistic philosophies or other schools of thought from which Luther remained free.

G. The Philos.-Experimental Approach to Modern Psychol.

1. After the Reformation the trend of thought fell increasingly under the spell of a confluence of philos. and science. The concept of nous (Gk. ;“mind; intellect”) rose to prominence at the expense of Christian theol. Philosophy flourished; philosophies multiplied. Modern psychol. draws heavily on 17th–19th c. speculations. Various forms of dualism, materialism, idealism, innate intelligence, psycho-physical parallelism, influence of the environment (tabula* rasa), associationism, sensation, perception, phrenology, and biological determinism were proposed and defended by some philosophy.

2. Psychology was influenced also by scientific developments and experimental techniques but held its ground, for scientific experiment is often preceded and followed by speculation.

3. The earlier experiments of the 19th c. drew heavily on physics and physiology and were more psychophysics than psychology. Examples: experiments in sensation by Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795–1878; b. Wittenberg, Ger.; physiologist; anatomist); investigations of mechanisms of sight and hearing by Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (1821–94; b. Potsdam; physicist; anatomist; physiologist); the work of G. T. Fechner.*

4. W. M. Wundt* est. the 1st laboratory for experimental psychology 1879 Leipzig, Ger. Analysis of conscious processes, memory experiments, esp. by Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850–1909; b. Barmen, Ger.), experiments in reaction time, introspection, analysis of the learning process, systematic observation of child development (e.g., by Wilhelm Thierry Preyer [1841–97; b. Moss Side, near Manchester, Eng.; Ger. physiol. and psychol.; advocated Darwinism; works include Die Seele des Kindes] and G. S. Hall*) contributed to early 20th-c. psychol.

H. Nature and Scope of Modern Psychol. By the beginning of the 20th c. psychol. had emerged as a separate branch of learning. Contributions of W. James* had broken the close attachment to philos. and given psychol. thought a wide range of materials. Since 1900, psychol. materials, methods, and principles have been further clarified. By 1940 large univs. were offering more than 50 courses in various aspects of psychol. Individuals and “schools of psychol.” created crosscurrents of thought resulting in “psychologies.” But the attempt to est. facts by rigid experimentation remained uppermost.

In the middle decades of the 20th c. there was a shift away from a more or less exclusive interest in empirical studies. The influence of psychoanalysis, existential philos., and related soc. sciences led to growing interest in clinical, longitudinal, and sociocultural studies.

I. Sources from Which Psychol. Draws Material. Sources other than philos. and scientific investigation include biology, physiol., anatomy, roentgenology. Observations of physical growth and changes from conception to death are correlated with growth and changes in emotion, learning, and personality as a whole. Extensive use of statistics is necessary for accuracy in experiments. Refinements of psychometrics have led to a more precise concept of individual differences, intelligence, achievement, aptitude, special ability, interests, emotions, and other aspects of human behavior. Nature study has led to animal experimentation, brain extirpation, and induction of abnormal behavior under controlled conditions. Ontological and phylogenetic surmises led to specific experiments and observations in the relative influence of heredity and environment. Cell twins, fraternal twins, siblings, foster children, and parent-child relationships in similar and different environments have been minutely studied. Observation of abnormal behavior is essential to gen. psychol. thought. Study of the learning process shifted from an introspective approach to objective observation of the whole life span. Study of perception, thinking, imagination, and growth of language continues.

J. Schools and Systems.

1. The “quest for certainty” of which J. Dewey* spoke is not satisfied with mere atomistic experimentation. A theoretical description of phenomena of experience and behavior is a natural by-product of experimentation. The points of departure that have grown up with experimentation and observation have come to be known as systems or schools of psychology. But the grouping of fellow workers with a somewhat similar viewpoint as a school is not entirely accurate. Each school has subcurrents and divergent positions as clear as differences bet. “schools.”

2. Structuralism, which flourished at the beginning of the 20th c., tried to analyze sensation, images, and affections as elements of consciousness. Its main method was introspection. It tried to find the pure elements of the mind. It did not concern itself with meaning directly because meaning is more than an elementary mental process. It emphasized the elements rather than the reaction of the organism as a whole. Exponents include E. B. Titchener.*

3. Functionalists are more concerned with activities of the mind than its structure. Mind and behavior are considered inseparable. Functionalism* therefore deals with feelings, impulses, behavior, habits. It makes controlled observation a major part of investigative technique. Its main contributions are in learning and education. See also 5, 6.

4. Behaviorism has little faith in analysis of consciousness by introspection or any other method. It operates mainly with the stimulus response theory of simple behavior situations, because it believes that only in that way is observation accurate and objective. Reflexes and mechanistic responses are described in great detail, scant attention is given to motivation by thought and reason. The conditioned response, or substitute stimulus, is highly regarded in the method of investigation. Behaviorism has helped make psychol. investigation more objective, but it has not given enough attention to motivation; and it makes inferences from outward behavior without taking into consideration inner thoughts that might be discovered by introspection or some form of projection. See also 5; Educational Psychology, D 4.

5. The Gestalt (or Configuration) school emphasizes the whole pattern of the learning act, taking issue with the piecemeal theories of behaviorists (see 4). It operates with the concept of insight as basis for an intelligent response and does not accept the trial-and-error pattern of learning proposed by functionalists (see 3). It supports its position by experimentation in human and animal learning. Gestalt theories exerted great influence on psychol. and educ. thought in Am. See also Educational Psychology, D 5; Ehrenfels, Maria Christian Julius Leopold Karl von.

6. Psychoanalysis (or Freudianism), founded by S. Freud,* has been a prolific source of psychol. thought. Its crosscurrents are strong, literature vast.

Dynamic psychol. incorporates some theories of psychoanalysis; in a broad sense Am. functionalism (see 3) is dynamic. See also Psychology, Dynamic.

7. Freudianism makes much of the libido, defined as a sex instinct or the urge to life (see also Lust); “id,” “ego,*” and “superego” are terms used in psychoanalysis to describe the stream of life resulting from the trauma and frustrations that interfere with impulses of the libido. The school is mainly interested in behavioral disorders and forms the disorders may take in psychic life. Its therapeutic technique through abreaction or catharsis (see also Psychotherapy, 2) finds widespread use in psychiatry, literature, the arts.

8. Adherence to 1 school or system by current psychologies is rare; contemporary psychologists lean toward eclecticism.

K. Influence of Psychol.

1. Psychol. has developed a field of materials of its own, though the method of investigation is largely that of natural sciences. Many specialties have developed.

2. Psychol. has invaded many fields of endeavor, including educ., medicine, industrial management, art, advertising, salesmanship, vocational guidance.

L. Contribution of Christianity to Psychol.

1. The attitude of Christianity toward psychol. is indicated in D-F. Psychol. could hardly have reached its present state of development without contributions of Christianity, which holds certain sacred values and has forced psychol. into a field of its own in the study of psychic phenomena, where it applies itself to psychic materials amenable to methods of natural science.

2. It is questionable whether psychol. would have achieved rigid technique in experimentation if Christianity had not insisted on seeking the truth.

3. Christianity holds that man is dichotomous (body-soul) structurally, but for all practical ends here on earth he acts as 1 being, a single self, under normal circumstances. Functionally, man is a monistic being; the study of his functional mental life is as important as the study of his bodily functions. The structure of the body, but not the structure of the soul, is subject to investigation by natural science. Speculation about the soul, beyond or contrary to revelation, is futile.

4. In its judgment of and attitude toward psychol. theories and findings Christianity must be guided by the Word of God. Al S, AHJ

See also Psychology, Comparative; Psychotherapy, 14 b

Psychology, Comparative.

Study of differences and similarities in behavioral organization among living beings. See also Morgan, Conway Lloyd.

Psychology, Dynamic.

Psychology emphasizing motivation (conation). See also Educational Psychology D 6; Psychology, J 6.

Psychology of Religion.

Application of psychol. to the field of religion; tries to collect facts of religious consciousness, systematize them, est. relation bet. them, and explain them on basis of gen. psychol. principles. The only proper function of psychol. of religion in the field of conservative theol. is to explain the phenomena connected with the remnant of the natural knowledge of God and of the Law written in the hearts of all (Ro 2:14–15). See also Apologetics, IV D; Psychology.

Psychotherapy.

1. As pastors become increasingly involved in pastoral counseling, they are showing more and more interest in methods and findings of psychotherapy. The pastoral counseling movement, developed esp. in the middle decades of the 20th c., used psychotherapeutic techniques and insights.

2. Psychotherapy is not a substitute for Christian faith, but it may be used to help solve emotional and mental problems. As gen. practiced, it does not harm Christian faith; rather, some aspects, e.g., catharsis (see also 6; Psychology, J 7), may lead to a stronger spiritual life.

3. “Psychotherapy” comes from Gk. psyche, “soul; mind” and therapeia, “healing.”

4. Psychotherapy involves a relationship bet. therapist and patient or interrelationships in a group (group or multiple therapy). It is essentially treatment through words and actions; drugs may also be used in some cases. It deals with emotions and motivation; it is not primarily information-giving.

5. Basic thesis underlying psychotherapy: Emotional problems often result from chronic anxiety and frustration, repressed fears and guilt, or inadequate ways of relating to others. In the therapeutic relationship, the patient explores these hidden feelings; when he feels free to express anger or guilt. their tyrannical hold on him is removed; he feels more comfortable and is free to act more appropriately in relationships with mems. of his family, fellow employees, friends, and others. From the therapist the patient learns more adequate ways of relating to people. He tries his new discoveries and is supported throughout by the therapist.

6. Important ingredients of psychotherapy: A strong bond bet. patient and therapist in which the therapist expresses basic confidence in the patient and allows him almost complete freedom to speak, act, and make decisions as he wishes. The therapist does not condemn the patient for any feelings expressed, leaving the patient free to pour out pent-up emotions (catharsis). The patient benefits from the experience of being accepted by the therapist, learning that not all will reject him and that not all are harsh and unforgiving (reeducation, desensitization, redirection).

7. Goals of psychotherapy: reduction of emotional tensions, greater maturity, willingness to face reality, acquisition of better techniques for coping with problems, self-understanding.

8. The need for psychotherapy exceeds the supply of available help; the gap seems to be widening.

9. Psychotherapy is used most commonly in treating psychoses, neuroses, other forms of mental illness, children's behavioral problems, stuttering, sexual problems, alcoholism.

10. Approaches to psychotherapy vary. In gen. there are 2 kinds of therapists: (1) Those who are more directive, give more advice, and tend more to tell the patient what to do. These therapists often include use of drugs and/or other physical treatments in therapy. They tend to see patients for a shorter period of time and seem to be closer to other med. specialties in orientation, attitude, appearance of their offices, etc. (2) Those who tend to emphasize psychological aspects of problems, are more analytic in approach, see the patient for longer periods at a time and for more sessions. Psychoanalysts form a subdivision of this group.

11. Psychoanalysis was founded by S. Freud,* but many psychoanalysts have abandoned orthodox Freudian viewpoints and formed systems of their own. Psychoanalysis is most often used for neurotic disorders but is not limited to them. It is the most intensive of the therapies and usually involves several sessions a week over months, sometimes years. Psychoanalysts typically use a couch to help a patient relax and become more spontaneous in saying whatever comes to mind (free association).

12. Another approach under the more analytic category is the client-centered (formerly called nondirective) school of Carl Ransom Rogers (b. 1902 Oak Park, Illinois; psychologist). In the accepting and permissive atmosphere encouraged by the counselor, the client is expected to verbalize his feelings and gain insight into his problems. Insight leaves him more mature, freer, and more capable of indep. action (self-actualization).

13. The Eur. school of logotherapy (or existential analysis) has developed special interest for clerics. It emphasizes the importance of working toward an understanding of the meaning of life. It holds that other therapies, in treating the will to pleasure or the will to power, miss the fundamental ingredient of a satisfying therapeutic solution, i. e., what life actually means. It seems to be more compatible with Christianity but is not a religious therapy. Exponents include Viktor E. Frankl (b. 1905 Vienna, Austria; psychiatrist; works include The Doctor and the Soul: An Introduction to Logotherapy and Man's Search for Meaning).

14. Psychotherapy, as differentiated from counseling, is practiced by:

a. Psychiatrists. Psychiatrists must have an MD degree; are qualified to use medical treatments (e.g., prescription medications) besides psychotherapy; must meet legal requirements in order to practice. Bona fide psychoanalysts meet the same requirements as psychiatrists and have further special training; but since the term “psychoanalyst” is not protected by law, anyone may call himself a psychoanalyst.

b. Psychologists. Reputable psychologists who practice psychotherapy usually have a PhD degree from an accredited university. Training includes supervised experience in psychotherapy. Since the term “psychologist” is not protected by law, anyone may call himself a psychol.

c. Psychiatric soc. workers. Some soc. workers, with an MA degree from an accredited university, are qualified to practice psychotherapy. The term “soc. worker” is not defined by law.

15. The relative effectiveness of the various schools of psychotherapy is hard to determine. In any given case, success is probably determined more by the function of the therapist, the qualities of the patient, and the type of problem than by the therapist's theoretical orientation. KHB

P. E. Meehl, What, Then, Is Man? (St. Louis, 1958); A. C. Outler, Psychotherapy and the Christian Message (New York, 1954); C. R. Rogers, Client-Centered Therapy (Boston, 1951).


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod


Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
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Content Reproduced with Permission

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