Archive for April 14th, 2011

Spiritual Book Review: “Psychotherapy: Purpose, Process and Practice”

April 14, 2011

It’ s actually a pamphlet that’s 25 pages. It’s from the Foundation for Inner Peace which is part of the Course of Miracles Teaching.  The online site and the PDF version are below. For once I am at a loss for words. This is so well written, so clearly delineated that I can only say “you have to read it yourself”. It is a metaphysical writing. It’s summed up as the Teacher Imparting an Idea to the Brain of the Student, but it’s done through a slight of hand. It’s the patient making the Idea his own.

Since I can’t describe the book properly I’ll offer my closest analogy as realized by me having read the book.

Why does therapy takes so long?  

A patient enters the Psychologist’s office. The Doctor and Patient play The Game, “What is my problem, I’m unable to tell you or to see it for myself. I know I have a problem because everybody tells me so.” The Patient stands defiant, smoking his cigarette and half turning away from the doctor. He says “I have a problem Doc, and I need you to fix it but don’t change me, I’m really alright.” The problem here is that the “problem isn’t a car to be fixed by Tuesday or an object to be rebuilt.”  The problem is a very real and integral part of the person involved. For the Doctor to correct the problem the patient must change his Mind.  He must change to a new mindset, to do that, the patient must have an epiphanous vision of himself and his problem. The Doctor could guess or even tell him; “You have Sexual Orientation Problems,  You’re an Alcoholic, You have Anger issues”, but he knows that he can’t tell him. The patient must step outside of himself to see himself. Until then, the Doctor and patient keep playing the Game.

The patient may lie while all the time trying to get the Doctor’s trust. All the time he’s trying to enact the con game(i.e.; gain the doctors’ confidence) while the Doctor must discern the patient’s lies and denial and ferret out the truth. Even in real life we understand the principle of piercing the defenses with the truth by making the lesson the student’s own discovery. The patient must REALLY, REALLY WANT to be cured and only he(with some guided assistance) can do it.  To my knowledge it has never happened that a Doctor said, “Relax, go home, you’re alright.  Those other people are all wrong. They should have never intervened and convinced you to see me.  Here, let me rubberstamp your wellness card so you can get out here.”

We do this in real life too when we’re not getting through. When a Husband/Wife argue and their voices raise, they emphatically try to drive home each individual’s point. Each side is blind to the other’s side. The argument becomes more vocal and heated. Finally, the wife(or husband) may say “What’s wrong, what do you want me to do.” The Husband responds, “ I DON’T KNOW, YOU TELL ME.” What he’s really saying is “I can’t tell you, you figure it out, you’ll have to make it your own, .” In essence “When the student is ready to change their mind the lesson will be taught.” The first step is the realization and courage of the patient to ask another for help and to be honest with one’s own self. The therapist or teacher is only ever guiding the patient to their own realizations.

The pamphlet is so much better. The whole book can be found online at

PDF Version:

Psychotherepy: Purpose, Process and Practice  25 pages    Cost $6.00    Rating 12 stars out of 10 ************.

It’s not for  sale anywhere except through the Foundation of Inner Peace. I checked both Barnes & Noble and

ISBN 0-9606388-6-5

Foundation for Inner Peace

PO Box 598, Mill Valley, CA 94942 (415) 388-2060