Sunday 9 March 2014

A Readers Experience of PCT/NDC

I have chosen (with the writers permission -thank you!) to use as a post, a comment I received on my previous posting in which I spoke of Person-Centred Therapy/Non-Directive Counselling. The comment received illustrates what I have been trying to say. I don't believe the writer or myself are saying nothing good is to be found in PCT/NDC, only that many in the Church are not seeing its dangers.

Dear Father,
About 10 years ago I was working as a PR/Education Officer for a pro-life charity and my wife and I were asked to go through the counselling training. We were disturbed to learn that they were using the Rogerian Non-Directive approach based on the ideas of Carl Rogers.The Rogerian model allowed no space for Catholic understandings of Original Sin, Concupiscence, Redemption, Grace, or the Thomistic principles for giving good guidance and wise counsel.As such the non-directive approach aimed only to give 'information' to make an 'informed choice' through so-called 'self-actualization.' We realized that such an approach could actually facilitate a woman towards having an abortion! Also, the Catholic counsellors were required to leave their Faith at the door when it came to helping people in such a serious situation. Another amazing thing that we noticed, was that those most committed to the non-directive approach became remarkably directive when we questioned their approach. They preferred it to the Catholic teaching.
This led us to do further research. We learned that Rogerian group therapy sessions had been used on the IHM nuns in Southern California in the 1960's. When Rogers and his team arrived there were 615 religious in the community. One year later, 300 of them petitioned Rome to be released from their vows. The nuns ran 60 schools at the outset and ended up with just 1 school. So we researched further and came across William Coulson. He had been a 'disciple' of Rogers in the early days, but had been converted and spent years warning people of the corrosive effects of the Rogerian approach. Coulson explained that Rogers had influenced the New Age Esalen Centre in California and that his principles had migrated into education and have taken root in much of the 'Values-Clarification' education which has evolved into the educational systems around today. These are, of course, explicitly warned against in the 1993 document The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality from the Pontifical Congregation for the Family. As an Education Officer, I was horrified to realize that the very relativistic forces we were fighting against in education had been influenced by the man behind the charity's counselling system. These techniques are at times used in schools today - in the Orwellian-sounding Citizenship Education for example.
In the end we had to leave that charity because they would not listen to us, but we were glad to have learned so much about our present cultural milieu from the experience. Hopefully the Trinitarian-Christocentric approach can replace this selfism. Paul VI wrote a helpful book about all this called Psychology as Religion- The Cult of Self-Worship. He has a lot of helpful material in there.
In Christ


  1. Father,
    you are fighting a losing battle here. Catholic counsellors are much more loyal to their counselling theory and more defensive of it than they are of their faith.

    1. Thank you, David.
      I think you are right; this is my experience of many Catholic counsellors, though I must say, not all. Some work very hard to avoid stepping out of line with the Faith while being of as much help as possible to their clients.
      God bless.

  2. They will be of much greater help to people if they are true to the Faith.

  3. God bless for posting this letter, and the author. this explains so much of what I have found in contemporary catechesis whether from the pulpit or from the pews. the 'non-directive' directive away from any hint of supernatural faith, away, in fact, from the authentic to the false.

    1. Thabnk you, viterbo.
      PCT/NDC theory seems to me to be the first-born child of original sin, replicating its very core of 'turn to yourself as the source of good/evil; right/wrong.
      God bless.

    2. From reason to emotions, from objective truth to relativism.

    3. Thank you.
      Yes, this is the way the world is currently the loss of souls.
      God Bless


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