Insight Therapy—to No Avail


We finished yesterday in calling attention to those who try to get rid of condemnation by saying there is no guilt, hence no condemnation.

Before seven thousand members of the American Psychological Association in a recent meeting, Albert Ellis said: “No human being should be blamed for anything he does. Therapists must rid their patients of every vestige of their blaming themselves, others, or fate, or the universe. . . . The more sinful and guilty a person tends to feel the less chance there is that he will be a happy, healthy, or law-abiding citizen.” If there is no God and no moral universe, then there is no alternative except this one of trying to wipe out condemnation by trying to wipe out guilt.

That method is a dead failure—as psychiatrists themselves witness more and more. In that same conference, O. Hobart Mowrer, psychologist of the University of Illinois, said:

Our mental hospitals are full of patients who have had insight therapy—to no avail. . . . I see no alternative but to turn again to the old, painful but also promising possibility that man is pre-eminently a social being, or in theological phrase, a child of God. Future treatment of the emotionally ill will, like Alcoholics Anonymous, take guilt, confession, and expiation seriously and will invoke programs of action rather than mere gropings for insight.

That is the turning point of the road for psychology from futility to fruitfulness. It is a turning back to the Christian faith which teaches forgiveness and the wiping out of condemnation from the conscious and the subconscious. Without that cleansing of the subconscious this verse is descriptive: “But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot rest, and its waters toss up mire and dirt” (Isa. 57:20).


O Jesus, without Thy forgiveness and the wiping out of condemnation, our subconscious tosses up mire and dirt. We are filled with nameless dreads. But if Thou, the Son, dost make us free, then we are free indeed. I thank Thee. Amen.


“I will forgive all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases”— forgiveness and healing are intertwined.

Get your copy of In Christ: Devotions for Every Day of the Year from our store here.

Subscribe to get this in your inbox daily and please share this link with friends.

Share today's Wake-Up Call!


WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. The fool says in his heart, “ there is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good. (Psalm 53:1) And we wonder why there’s so much evil being ignored by the Western medical profession.

  2. Insight about guilt:

    “Self-forgiveness” without the ongoing experience and inner cleansing of God’s forgiveness is psychobabble. “Self-forgiveness” tries to erase guilt by denial or will power, but God’s forgiveness removes guilt from those who will humbly and remorsefully confess what they have done to cause it and rely on the living Jesus Christ instead of self to forgive them. 1 John 1:9 and Romans 8:1.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *