This book proffers a powerful antidote to a purely secular form of psychology: a fully integrated Catholic psychotherapeutic conceptualization.
John O'Connell (Editor of Fr. John Hardon's Catholic Faith Magazine)
London's Catholic Herald
I have just been reading a fascinating book: Imago Dei Psychotherapy: A Catholic Conceptualization
by GC Dilsaver, an American Catholic psychologist. It is about healing those who are mentally ill because of depression, borderline personality disorders and so on, by helping to restore the "image of God" within them.... [T]he book well merits reading in full....
More here: catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2013/08/14/restoring-the-image-of-god-in-our-lives-protects-our-mental-health/
Therapeutic undertakings, whether in medicine or in psychology, proceed from assumptions that are necessary if the very concept of therapy is to be intelligible. . . . Psychotherapy, too, is intelligible as an undertaking only insofar as there is a model or theory of the healthy person the healthy mental life not sufficiently reflected in the life of this person, this patient. It is therefore something of a professional self-delusion for therapists to insist that they are neutral on the question of the nature of human nature and (therefore) the conditions favoring its flourishing. Therapy begins with a theory or conception of Dare I say it? the right life, no matter how widely placed are the perimeters. In Imago Dei Psychotherapy, Dr. Dilsaver comes to grips with this unavoidable starting point and defends a conception of human nature that he would have guide therapeutic practice. The foundation he builds is, as he says, intrinsically dependent on a Catholic philosophy and theology. He finds within the doctrinal teaching of the Church, developed over two millennia, a systematic anthropology able to comprehend the fullest range of human values and human interests. The teaching is essentialist and thus is assuredly not confined to Roman Catholics. Indeed, the (Thomistic) essentialism that is integral to this anthropology does not require the overt inclusion of faith principles within the therapeutic context. What makes this such an important book is that it invites reflection and criticism. It is a book that actually takes a position and on nothing less than human nature and its prospects. --Daniel N. Robinson, Oxford University
In this short treatise on clinical psychology, we find a current presentation which is fully in accord with traditional scholastic philosophy and theology. The whole Catholic worldview of man made in the image of God, a composite being of spirit and matter, is the philosophical basis of Imago Dei Psychotherapy. This is an invaluable tool for Catholic counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists whose goal it is to bring their therapants to a state of mental health which is in accord with both the natural law and divine revelation. --Fr. Kenneth Baker, SJ, Editor, Homiletic and Pastoral Review
About the Author
In addition to his degrees in clinical psychology, Dr. Dilsaver received a degree in philosophy from the University of San Francisco and graduated from USF's original St. Ignatius Institute Great Books program. Dr. Dilsaver also received an Lateran University advanced degree from the Pontifical Institute on Marriage and Family where he was a McGivney Scholar. Dr. Dilsaver is the director of Imago Dei Institute, where both therapants are treated and clinicians trained in Imago Dei Psychology.