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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

I am desiring to seek assistance for my family. Right now it is for my 10 year old son. It is a long story but to come to the present my son is not acting normally. I believe he can be but is showing abnormal behavior I believe because of emotional problems, mainly because of our home environment. I am a devout catholic and am seeking guidance that will come aligned with the will of God. . . . I want to help my son as the rest of my family including myself and I can only do it with God as part of it.

 
A branch of psychotherapy called family therapy holds a fundamental premise that all children’s symptoms are the result of larger family problems. So, if a child’s behavior must be changed, the whole family must change.

Now, in your message you acknowledge the role of the family in your son’s abnormal behavior. That’s a good start. And you recognize the need to seek a solution with God as part of it. That’s even better.

So what can you do? Well, you say you’re a devout Catholic. And I will assume from what you have written that your husband is not a devout Catholic; if he were, he would be a proper father and you wouldn’t be having these problems. So that puts you in the role of a Saint Monica or a Saint Rita, doesn’t it?

Step-by-step instructions for praying
The Chaplet of Saint Rita

 
Therefore, let’s ask some questions to see whether your current family role fits the description of a genuinely devout Catholic home life. If not, then you will know what changes to make, so that, while praying for the conversion of your husband and children, you can be the defender of faith within your family.

Have you thoroughly read the Catechism of the Catholic Church so that you understand the Faith yourself? Do you understand your faith so well that you can live it from your heart as the fullest sustenance of your very life? Do you live your faith so well from your heart that you can witness it to others through your behavior? Do you witness your faith so well that you can explain it to your son in language he can understand?
 

A Practical Commentary on Holy ScriptureDo you spend time every night with your son reading Scripture and explaining it to him?

If you need help here, then read A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture with your son. This is an ideal book for teaching children the essence of the Catholic Bible.
 

Do you teach your son the basics of prayer, so that he understands how to sit quietly in reverent respect, not just at home but also during Mass?
 

Before every Mass do you read with your son the Scriptural readings and explain their meaning to your son, so that he knows in advance the theme of that day’s Mass?
 

Do you begin each day with your son by praying some form of morning prayer, do you pray Evening Prayer with your family every evening before dinner, the Rosary with your family every night after dinner, rather than watch TV, and Night Prayer with your family just before bedtime?
 

Through your personal example, do you teach your son to trust in God’s justice and providence?
 

Do you teach your son, through your own personal example, that whenever anyone says or does anything unkind to you, you respond with a blessing and a prayer for that person’s conversion?
 

Are you careful never to swear or speak a harsh word to anyone?
 

Do you discuss openly and objectively with your son all of his experiences, so that he can learn to see both the positive and negative qualities in everything human?
 

Do you teach your son that if he lives a genuine Catholic life, he will have few friends and will suffer much social persecution?
 

Are you careful never to lie to your son?
 

If you make a mistake, do you admit it openly and honestly?
 

If you ever hurt your son, do you explain what happened, why it happened, and promise to do everything you can to not do it again?
 

If someone else ever hurts your son, do you explain what happened, why it happened, and promise to do everything you can to protect your son?
 

Do you show your son through your own personal example that you do not have any desire for materialism or social approval, and that instead of seeking out your own pleasure, you always look to the good of others?
 

Do you explain to your son that most everything he will see on TV or in movies or read in comic books and newspapers, or, for that matter, be taught in school, is hostile to the Catholic faith?
 

Do you explain to your son that you do not watch TV or movies because the the advertising and entertainment industry wants to destroy the Church by brainwashing everyone, especially children, and that you prefer to live a holy life of prayer and study so as to develop your personal talents for Godís service?
 

Do you teach your son that all sports and video games are based in pride and strife, and that instead of competing with his neighbors he should be praying for their conversion?
 

As a personal example to your son, do you dress modestly? Do you tell your son that it is necessary to avoid tattoos and piercings? Do you explain to him how modesty is central to the Christian faith, and how many persons in this world are deceived by the social worship of lust?
 

As a personal example to your son, are you a non-smoker?
 

As a personal example to your son, do you avoid marijuana and other drugs and use alcohol only with careful responsibility?
 

As a personal example to your son, do you eat simple, healthy food, and maintain an ideal weight?
 

As a personal example to your son, do you walk whenever you can, for exercise?
 

Do you discipline your son properly?

If you need help here, then read my web pages about Family Therapy and Adolescent Violence on A Guide to Psychology and its Practice.
 

Do you teach your son, through your own personal example, to treat other family members with kindness and dignity, always looking out for their needs?
 

If your husband does anything immoral or unfaithful, do you explain to your son honestly and compassionately exactly what your husband is doing, and why it is wrong, telling your son not to blame his father but to pray constantly for his father’s conversion?
 

 


 
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.

 

Falling Families, Fallen Children by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. Do our children see a mother and a father both living in contemplative love for God with a constant awareness of His presence and engaged in an all-out battle with the evil of the world? More often than not our children donít see living faith. They donít see protection from evil. They donít see genuine, fruitful devotion. They donít see genuine love for God. Instead, they see our external acts of devotion as meaningless because they see all the other things we do that contradict the true faith. Thus we lose credibilityóand when parents lose credibility, children become cynical and angry and turn to the social world around them for identity and acceptance. They are children who have more concern for social approval than for loving God. They are fallen children. Letís bring them back.

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