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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

Why do you use dream interpretation? I don’t dream.

 
You will dream profusely, once you begin to have some curiosity for your inner psychological experiences. Seeking insight from your dreams is part of the process of letting go of your defensive need to keep your own life under your own “control.”

Once you accept the fact that your life is largely governed by social influences through unconscious processes, then your dreams will start to give you some insight into these processes. And once you “wake up” to what your dreams tell you, then you can turn to God for refuge from your bondage to the illusions of the social world around you.

In this sense, you can see that dreams, when interpreted properly, are a valuable form of psychological guidance. Keep in mind, however, that dreams are meant to be taken as personal revelations of the truth of your own present state of mind, not as predictions of the future. If you misunderstand dreams and take them for more than personal psychology, then they become like divination and omens; all these things “are unreal; what you already expect, the mind depicts” (Sirach 34:5).

  

Note that a traditional Catholic guide such as the Baltimore Catechism claims that dreams are irrational and meaningless and should be ignored. But note carefully that this Catechism was written at a time when the psychology of the unconscious was not scientifically understood. It just goes to show that scientific knowledge—in contrast to Catholic dogma—is always limited to the current culture. If you want to believe the Baltimore Catechism about dreams you may as well believe that the world is flat or that the sun revolves around the earth.

  

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

See my website A guide to Psychology and its Practice

For information about interpreting dreams, see the web page called Dream Interpretation.

For information about the nature of the unconscious, see the web page called The Unconscious.

For information about how a need to be in control causes stress, see the web page called Stress.

 


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Recommended Reading
 
A treasure of a resource for psychological and spiritual healing. Information gathered from my websites (including this webpage) is now available at your fingertips in book form.

 

Healing by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. explains how psychological defenses help to protect us from emotional injury. But if you cling to the defense mechanisms that were created in your childhood and carry them on into adulthood—as most everyone does unconsciously— your quest for spiritual healing will be thwarted by overwhelming resentments and conflicts. Still, God has been trying to show you that there is more to life than resentment and conflict, something so beautiful and desirable that only one thing can resist its pull: hate So now, and in every moment until you die, you will have a profound choice between your enslavement to old defenses and the beauty of God. That decision has to come from you. You will go where you desire.

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Where Catholic therapy (Catholic psychotherapy) is explained according to Catholic psychology in the tradition of the Catholic mystics.