Rabu, 15 Agustus 2007

Psychoanalysis Applications: Therapy by Faith

By Ovidiu Dima

Jesus healing
Jesus healing a blind man
Therapy by faith is no late discovery. It pervades the "New Testament", related as it is to Jesus Christ's life and divine mission on Earth. The Holy Books are abundant in stories of miraculous healing performed by Jesus and his disciples. Their authors mainly quote those cases when Jesus approaches his "patients" by asking: "Do you trust me I can heal you?"

Right after the healing (quite often performed in the absence of patients themselves, by means of a human agent confident in Jesus' charisma), Jesus would say: "It's been your faith that has saved you". What do his words mean?

Belief in Jesus and his healing capacities involve some strong emotional excitement, some devotional fervor. That which psychically characterizes the faith phenomenon is the strong stimulation of the Eros - a sublimated Eros, of course, freed from its sexual function. That Eros in fact represents the agent and vehicle of healing.

The transfer of love stimulated by Jesus' charismatic person (but also by that of nowadays' therapists, people with a reputation and a public image) is also known to therapy by hypnosis. Psychoanalysis itself is well acquainted with emotional transfer and its beneficial effect on the patient. In one of his letters to his younger fellow scientist Jung, Freud stated that the main agent for the healing of neurotic people is the fixation of the unconscious libido - providing the strength necessary to the "perception and translation of the unconscious".

In other words, where there is love on the patients' part, one can notice their beneficial participation in the healing process. After all, Freud would conclude, what we are dealing with here is healing by love. And this specific healing shows that "neuroses depend on erotic life".

The above also simply demonstrate the range of diseases accessible to therapy by faith. Jesus' "patients" mostly suffered from diseases palsy, blindness, psychomotor disabilities, etc.

Whereas today almost all specialists have agreed on the psychic nature of these diseases in biblical casuistry, they say, we are dealing with neurotic disorders and mainly hysteria.

The fact that these specific diseases (hysteria) have to do with disorders of the Eros is no more novelty to anyone. Therefore, the deliverance of the Eros from traumatic or moral inhibitions is the main credit of therapy by belief.

Collective healing by hypnosis
A collective healing by hypnosis performed by a hypnotherapist
There are diseases in the Holy Books, nevertheless, that cannot be reduced to some traumatic etiology - the so-called initiation disorders. But we shall deal with these on a later opportunity.

We shall limit ourselves now to saying that love (with or without some material object) generally has therapeutic value. Where there is love, there is little room for neuroses. And love can be stimulated by faith. Faith in Jesus, in his beneficial charisma or in the healing "abilities" of a therapist in flesh and blood.

Paper first published in OMEN - Psychoanalytic Journal , no. 1, 1998.
Translation by Mihaela CristeaPs

Tidak ada komentar:

Design | Elque 2007