I am a 68-year-old cradle Catholic who has put a lot of effort into trying to make sure my beliefs are in agreement with those of the Catholic Church. I believe in going by the teaching Magisterium of the church. I have watched the pendulum swing back and forth on different issues I know my home spun notions are not necessarily accurate even when the rest of the culture seems to think the same thing.
Part of the reason why is I have put so much thought and effort into all of this is that I had the bad experience of folks I trusted and looked up to finding out I was seeing a psychiatrist and worrying me that my faith was not authentic.
Because I had experience with therapy back in the 1960s, I have some opinions that some in the church are confused by the fact that psychology is a different point of view that seems at times to be in disagreement with religion but really is not.
Some of this confusion is caused by the fact that therapists seem to follow rules where they try to not agree or disagree with any beliefs a person has about anything not connected with psychology.
What they do about it is sometimes gives the impression they are disagreeing with the patient’s beliefs or opinions.
For example mention of doing penance is likely to cause the therapist to explore the possibility something about this might be unhealthy. When they do so they are officially neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the patient’s beliefs about penance.
If anybody who gets told about it assumes and the patient has been diagnosed to be over doing the idea of penance they are wrong. There is no such diagnosis in psychology for one thing. If the therapist thinks any such thing he never says so. He is trained to not express his personal opinions about something not having to do with psychology
The public needs to realize that they have absolutely no business deciding that penance is unhealthy activity because of how someone’s therapist behaved about it.
They are mistaken if they think that in any official capacity any therapist disagreed with the beliefs in the church.
Even if it was obvious that such an expert did not agree with the churches’ beliefs personally and that was not his professional opinion. Nor do people have any right to decide that the individual whose therapist behaved that way is messed up about the subject and treat them accordingly.