The Counseling Psychology and Sacrament of Confession

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The overall idea of the research is to find the most appropriate ways of helping people in facing and solving their problems in the contemporary world. The core value of the dissertation is to practice the assessment and evaluation of different people as well as their problems on the way to create a personality of the 21st century. The ability to tackle the problems for every person is individual.

The research focuses on the historical background, conducts personal interviews, and observes different cases by means to address a particular person or a group of people with the counselling services. The aim is to help people achieve the results of personal effectiveness, teach them to be social, educate them on all the levels of life, and finally, offer support in personal growth and professional development. 

The goal of the research is to experience the outcomes of the conventional psychology, including the behaviour of people and their performance, learning individual differences of various people, go deeper into the means of personality and reveal the key interests and learning abilities.

At the same time, the research addresses the need of developing special skills and talents that are required for the counselling psychology and its practice towards the psychological motivation, examine different learning theories and methodologies, and apply them to treat people as effective is possible.

The idea is to adjust the outcomes of the real-life examples to the practical approach of helping people by means of using different types of therapies and counselling. In order to manage these expectations, the research deals with the principles of knowledge and skills while applying different methods and procedures, diagnoses and treatments of rehabilitation periods, various physical and / or mental dysfunctions, individual guidance for the life and / or business opportunities, etc. that affect the memetics of people in both positive and negative ways. Thus, the findings of the current dissertation could help to improve the customer and personal services in a variety of directions.

The application of findings of this dissertation will offer the instrument that could help gain more knowledge and skills in order to administer the psychological principles and help conduct personal assessments, as well as achieve high-quality standards of psychological services and personal satisfaction.

Besides, the sociological approach of psychological knowledge addresses the dynamics of trends that have a strong influence on people in terms of ethics, culture, origins, gender, etc. Such a practice could be gained through the various means of education and training in a wide range of directions.

Simultaneously, the aim of the research is to frame the counselling psychology in relation to the Sacrament of Confession that could be applied in the various pathological and healthy perceptions of guilt. Indeed, the purpose of the research is to cover the treatment of the counselling psychology in order to help people cope with their strong and weak points.

A separate piece of research is to approach the Sacrament of Confession in respect to the Biblical starting point. It is important to understand the meaning of confession on the basis of the Early and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The dissertation is to conduct a survey in terms of the practical solutions that could be used by the experts in counselling psychology, due to the proven results of the empirical studies. Another part of the research is aimed at delivering the best practices of managing guilt and its traits within the world of the Bible, including both the Old and New Testaments.

The purpose of exploring the ways to control guilt is going to experience the basics of teachings of the Fathers from both East and West. The research is planning to consider the guilt as one of the major terms of counselling psychology with respect to the studies of S. Freud, C. G. Jung, A. Jung, and conventional modern theories.

At the same time, the connotation of guilt is going to be perceived through the perceptions of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Franz Kafka in the classical literature. Meanwhile, the research objective is to find out the effect of guilt in the meanings of shame, conscience, depression, anger, envy, jealousy, forgiveness, and the psychosomatic signal. The goal of such a research is to understand the hidden pathology and learn how to manage its change to the innocent lifecycle.

To conclude, the central purpose and aim of the research is to address various means of practical use of counselling psychology and the Sacrament of Confession in helping people to tackle the life challenges with more positive outcomes. In addition, this research will be helpful for the practical psychologists that strive to improve their working practice and assist people in a more favourable way.

The spheres of counselling psychology and the Sacrament of Confession are very diverse in terms of their application in the past compared to the modern world. The research addresses all the “contributing elements of the working practice with a focus on the perception of guilt” (American Psychological Association 1952, p. 111).

Therefore, all the related research is to address various means of guilt and its position to the counselling psychology, Sacrament of Confession, approach of Christianity, Biblical insights into the Old and New Testaments, and Eastern and Western Conceptions of the Fathers of the Church. A special emphasis is to be focused on the psychological implications in respect to S. Freud, C.G. Jung, and A. Adler. The observation of guilt would also be evaluated in relation to shame, conscience,and classical literature.

The psychological implications of personality are drastically important from the position of mind and conscience. According to George Harrison, “It is all in the mind”. Indeed, “the healthy feelings of every person are hidden in the depth of the mind”. Guilt is one of many feelings that people build in their conciseness for ages (American Psychological Association 1961, p. 97).

In fact, it is necessary to encourage the positive state of mind in order to avoid various pathological conditions. At the same time, it is more important to prevent such conditions for the future. In this case, the counselling psychology and the Sacrament of Confession would be of the most help in terms of life practice.

Consequently, the humanity has different ways of managing such emotions, and one of the most fortunate ones is psychological help and spiritual support that work together as one whole human practice. The purpose is to release oneself from the so-called “inner-prison” and ensure to utilize both faith and mental activities on the road of life. The success of such a practice could be achieved only “if the person with various physical and / or mental dysfunctions is indeed willing to improve the current situation for the better” (Berdie 1959, p. 243).

The purpose of the counselling psychology is to admit that all the problems of people, as well as the aptitude to tackle them lie within the nature of human conscience. “The behaviour of any human being could be controlled with the help of mind.” Such a simple process in the brain could also control all the changes in the body by means of interacting with the close environment (Brayfield 1961, p. 293).

It is important to understand that any physical problem arises from the psychological dysfunction. The counselling psychology has a strong emphasis on the health conditions of any person. People, who use it in their daily practice usually, consider different therapeutic talents to help an individual tackle both “personal and inter-personal lifestyles.” The core emphasis is addressed towards the “mental abilities, including health, emotions, personal growth and professional development, as well as various social apprehensions” (American Psychological Association 1960, p. 125).

Counselling psychology is aimed at “helping people to deal with different age-related issues, as well as health problems, comprising different physical, emotional, and mental disorders.” In reality, counselling psychology interacts with theory and practice in order to improve the ability of people to face diverse psychological dysfunctions (Tangney, Miller, Flicker and Barlow 1996, p. 121).

The major goal of such a psychological observation is to decrease the gap between the theoretical approaches and life practices and “contribute all the gained knowledge and skills into the real-world implications that could serve as means of help and psychological support for other people” (Brown & Lent, 2008, p. 137).

In order to address the Sacrament of Confession for the research dissertation, it is important to admit that its “nature is hidden in the depth of the people’s souls after they got lost by sins,” which turn out to be of the vital importance in terms of coming back to the Holy Lord. In other words, the heart of the Sacrament of Confession is to reveal all the sins people have in front of the priest. The idea is “to be as honest as possible in order to deserve forgiveness” (Curran 2010, p. 159).

It is important to recognize the blessings of God with His sanctity and forgiveness toward all the sinful people. There are definite elements of every Confession that include “Remorse, Confession, Compensation, and Self-punishment”. Thus, the Church advises on the yearly Confessions after people have reached the age of making decisions and continue such a practice during their lives (The Sacrament of Confession n. d., p. 23).

In the world of today, the application of guilt in the research is considered to be of the most importance as it addresses one of the core problems of the humankind. Correspondingly, guilt is known as one of the most dangerous enemies of the faith. Besides, every person has sins that force the mind to a number of actions that destroy the meaning of belief in God. It kills the person from within making one suffer from “physical, mental, and spiritual pain” for the lifetime (Tangney, Miller, Flicker and Barlow 1996, p. 98).

The approach of Christianity could help people to deal with such feelings, but it takes time, and thus, not all the people can ‘afford’ to dedicate this time for their revival. Most often, those people, who accept guilt in their lives, result in failure to fight back the life by means of “shame and weakness” that last in time. It is important to admit, “time is not possible to return and people, who neglect it could even double the initial position of guilt with no possibility of relief” (Buber 1957, p. 73).

If a person committed a crime, he/she is considered to be guilty despite his/her own perception of a fact and overall reason of guilt. Besides, guilt would not go anywhere if the person were not caught by the law administration. In fact, it becomes more powerful to destroy the internal atmosphere and place guilt much deeper inside the soul. According to the beliefs of Christianity, “If the person does not accept the feeling of guilt, he/she will not be rescued by God.” Therefore, the feeling of guilt is an essential part of the believer in the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ (Bardsley 2003, p. 17).

In case a person was born in the Christian family, he/she can hear the words of God all the time. What is the most important is, “since childhood people do not recognize the true lexical meaning of words, but they do believe that what they here is to be true and they accept it as is.” It is one of the reasons to apply the meaning of guilt in the research as well as to address it towards the Bible laws (Wilson 2006, p. 21).

In fact, when the personality growth, it continued to treat the words from the past as natural as they were comprehended in the childhood. In case of making a mistake, the Christian people know how to communicate with the person by means of soul, which is considered to be the key to the heart and result in further relief of guilt, as well as the corrected and not repeated mistake from the past.

Based on the Bible Ledge, “the feeling of guilt is a constant condition of every person.” Simultaneously, the message of God has a clear statement, which claims, “He does not want people to suffer from guilt.” Instead, the Bible states, “Guilt is a self- assessment of the misconduct of any human being.” In this case, self-evaluation is the long-lasting process, which requires time and understanding of the Bible basics, as well as the ways to administer the beliefs to the life scenarios.

There are different feelings of guilt, such as true and false guilt. The true guilt states that the person is considered to be guilty by God based on his/her sins. In other words, the person can be guilty but does not feel so. The opposite false guilt states that the person is not considered to be guilty in the eyes of God. In other words, the person can feel being guilty, but at the same time, he/she would not be seen so by God.

In the Bible God says, “He speaks often about the conscience, but not of a guilty conscience” (John 3:16-18). There are two types of those, who feel guilt, such as the “condemned” and “not condemned” people. At the same time, according to 1 John 1:7, “The blood of Jesus purifies us from all sins.” This means there is no blame for the people who are already with Jesus Christ (Williams 2000, p. 24).

The position of every Church toward guilt is about the same; though, the perceptions of guilt could be different for people. Thus, the research on guilt is to be fundamental as it addresses the core of the human nature. Based on the eastern consideration of the Catholic Church, “guilt is an obligation to penance experienced by disobeying a law”.

In the conditions of a regular life, the feeling of guilt could be equalled to the Supreme Court. In terms of the Christian perceptions, “guilt is the feeling of psychological regret about the fact of guilt.” In other words, if there is a feeling of guilt for a particular sin, but there is a confession about it, there will be a responsibility for the latter. People have the right to choose what is better for them, but very often they underestimate their own readiness for changes and thus could be trapped (Morelli 2004, p. 27).

Considering the western perception of guilt by the Fathers of the Church, there is a notable example of Augustine’s understandinggivenin the Original Sin, which states, “sin and guilt are inborn.” This is what Augustine considers as an “Original Sin.” In other words, “the feeling of guilt is passed from parents to their children.” In case the person recognizes the feeling of guilt and corrects the sins, he/she will be blessed with the possibility of support from the wisdom of God in all His presence.

Augustine compares the meanings of ‘guilt’ and ‘sin’ in terms of that fact, “when the person was ‘showered’ by the priest, and hence, the guilt for the sin was excluded but not the sin itself.” Therefore, “those people who do not believe in God and neglect any spiritual practice will receive the sins from the past and would be put to hell for eternity”. However, there is always a free will to choose a different path and follow to eternity (Jacobs 2001, p. 186).

There are many psychologists that examine the perception of guilt in their psychological studies. The current research emphasises different understandings of guilt and applies them to the real-life circumstances. For example, the contemplations of Freud address the nature of guilt in the way, “Every person has the defence devices that tackle problems in life from the positions of super-ego and personal identity.” Any improper use of these mechanisms leads to the fact of guilt, which consequently result in various psychological disorders (Nye, 1996, p. 162). 

The most widespread tools of self-defence are to deny, react according to the situation, shift to another location, defeat others, project expectations, use intellectual power and justification, and finally, use different techniques if self-redirection and emotional deterioration. According to Jung, “the feeling of guilt reflects mostly the state of expression of neurosis.” In the subsequent quotes of Adler, the meaning of guilt is explained as “an additional sincere sorrow” (Terry Lectures 1977, p. 92).

The research also applies the perceptions of guilt and shame in order to better understand the processes that take place in the human brain. The meanings of guilt and shame are often connected as one could not exist without another. At the same time, they add more value and help understand all the depth of real guilt, as well as the harm it could cause to the human being. The understanding of shame as an emotion is often combined with the feeling of guilt itself” (Tangney, Miller, Flicker, and Barlow 1996, p. 275).

In more direct emphasis, “shame is a feeling of guilt about which people consider themselves to be in reality.” During the years of life, people develop strong habits that help them to fight with the feelings of guilt and shame, which include their “behaviour, emotions and the rules of life that people set themselves unintentionally” (Arterburn & Neal 1997, p. 181).

The only purpose of such an approach to guilt is to escape from the emotional atmosphere that reveals negative feelings and projects shame. People always fear to be unprotected and, thus, are continuing to hurt their lives on every occasion. People learn to lie during their lives in order to demonstrate or challenge the feeling of guilt and shame.

Both guilt and conscience are inter-related. It is assumed that these perceptions could not ‘survive’ without each other. The meanings of guilt and conscience are also combined with the expense of a guilty conscience, which means regret affected by the feeling of any wrongdoing.

According to the laws of Christianity, “The Lord gave people their conscience in order to help them to understand when they disobey His laws of life.” The idea is to come to a relief, but it takes time, and people have to learn how to manage this time with the help of their own conscience (Smart 1989, p. 82).

The cooperation of guilt and conscience is important for the research mainly for the reason of processes that reveal the guilt itself and allow it to continue the on-going process of self-assessment. “Conscience in the meaning of guilt is used to address the ability of people to distinguish their wrong actions and allow them to judge themselves for all the concerns of the internal presence of God” (Tangney, Miller, Flicker and Barlow 1996, p. 344).

The truth is that people should learn to understand the processes that happen in their heads, as well as learn to control the minds for the future. “Such a long process usually requires long years of practice and could be possible with the help of those people” who have already managed the challenges of guilt and never let them return (D’Arcy 1961, p. 177).

The classical literature often addresses the strong feelings of human being where guilt plays one of the most important roles. The examination of guilt by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Franz Kafka reveal the overall perception of conscience of people and their ability to take responsibility for the incorrect actions or sins. In the scenario of Dostoevsky, “the recognition of guilt is the first step towards recovery.” In the scenario of Franz Kafka, “the feeling of guilt leads to hopelessness” (Rogers 1942, p. 156).

The concept of Dostoevsky illustrates the understanding of the feeling of guilt by means of addressing the Franz Kafka’s characters in terms of guilt and ethical principles while addressing the “negative forms of personal feelings.” Moreover, the perceptions of feelings and principles closely interact with the approaches of people and, thus, could always be perceived differently (Buber 1958, p. 164).

The counselling psychology could help people tackle with the life problems. The same is about the Sacrament of Confession. The purpose of the research is to address the core of each aspect of human nature and help people find the ways to their hearts. “The path to a better life should be addressed towards a guiltless approach in the meaning of understood mistakes and proven solutions for the future” (Hahn 1963, p. 34).

In terms of life, people always find themselves as being in a court room. In other words, in case people feel guilt for anything they did in life, they tend to look for the approach for obtaining a reasonable punishment for all their sins. In fact, “such a punishment could be addressed in terms of different life situations, various problems, hard-bearing emotions, and anything they cannot stand in life” (Rogers 1942, p. 179).

Thus, the current research addresses the most important aspects of personal approaches to life and offers solutions to the ways of alleviating the negative consequences by means of proper application of guilt. For this reason, “the counselling psychology should closely interact with the Sacrament of Confession in order to help people deal with troubles in their conscience” (Pepinsky and Pepinsky 1954, p. 235).

“By means of personal approach, the counselling psychologists could be of more help due to the empirical estimations of this dissertation.” Moreover, the findings of this research could be illustrated on the personal experience of different people. Even if the person is not a psychologist, but he/she is willing to find the ways to help himself/herself to deal with the challenges of life, the current work would be of huge help as it reveals the nature of the most fundamental aspects of counselling psychology, the Sacrament of Confession, and the application of guilt in the proper way.

By this means, this research could be essential to help individuals in any difficult situation. In all, “the life is like a loop, where people have to face the same situations and make the same mistakes all over again.” Though, it is important in order to understand the reasons of such mistakes and find the ways to correct them in the future. It is even more important to save the inner feelings of harmony and comfort and embracethem (Brayfield 1963, p. 301).

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