Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries Orthodox Psychotherapy

      

Orthodox Psychotherapy

Road signs to achieve the goal of Therapy in Christ

 

The term "Orthodox Psychotherapy" does not refer to specific cases of people suffering from psychological problems or neuroses. Rather, it refers to all people. According to Orthodox Tradition, after Adam's Fall, Man became ill; his intellect (called “nous”, the `eye of the heart') was darkened and lost communion with God. Death entered into the person's being and caused many anthropological, social, even ecological problems. In the tragedy of his fall man maintained the image of God within him but lost completely the likeness of Him, since his communion with God was disrupted. However the Incarnation of Christ and the work of the Church both aim at enabling the person to attain the likeness of God, that is, to re-establish communion with God. By adhering to Orthodox therapeutic treatment as conceived by the Holy Fathers of the Church, Man can cope successfully with his thoughts and thus solve his problems completely and comprehensively. All this therapeutic treatment or psychotherapy is closely connected with the neptic tradition of the Church and its hesychastic life, as it is preserved in the texts of the Philokalia, in the works of the Fathers of the Church and notably in the teaching of St. Gregory Palamas. Certainly one should not disregard the fact that the neptic and hesychastic life is the same life that one sees in the life of the Prophets and the Apostles, as described precisely in the texts of the Holy Scriptures.

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"Wherefore he who professes the science of spiritual medicine ought first of all (...) and to see whether he tends to health or (on the contrary) provokes to himself disease by his own behaviour, and to look how he can care for his manner of life during the interval. And if he does not resist the physician, and if the ulcer of the soul is increased by the application of the imposed medicaments, then let him mete out mercy to him according as he is worthy of it."  (Canon CII of the Quinisext Ecumenical Council)

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File published in English on: 4-8-2005.

Last update: 10-11-2015.

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