Religious forms of confession and psychoanalysis method overlap initially and then become very distinct. Confession and psychoanalytic therapy have in common elements which encourages soul tensions verbalization (talking-cure), hence resulting in catharsis. Also, the two approaches offer intimate settings in which two mental systems interact. The containment function is evident in both procedures, both sinner and the patient manage to feel understood; in one case the meaning is transcendent, and in the other the meaning derive from the psychological dynamics of human functioning.
Before the psychoanalytic method, there is Christianity that gave the religious belief of suffering from an outer end of a divine plan. Psychoanalysis was the one that moved the meaning inside – what happens to the human being is in him / her and depended on him / her.
Christian Religion preaches the free will.
Psychoanalysis postulates psychic determinism (you are not the master in your own house, but if you can understand your unconscious motivations and thus choose what is best for you).
Sacrament of confession is focused on the superego using it in view of correcting moral psychological mechanisms such as fear of punishment, guilt, shame, etc., with the promise of salvation in the afterlife.
Psychoanalytic method deals with the analysis of contents of all three psychic instances, id, ego, and superego. Also, it establishes an alliance with the patient’s ego. Psychoanalyst focuses his entire position on a major value, current life, and above all psychic life, which is the most beautiful form of this miracle.
Religious confession is limited to the contents of awareness. Freudian therapy is based on becoming aware of the soul movements that the patient has no immediate access.
Religious morality is imposed from the outside as an immutable, infallible and binding code (commandments).
Ethics of psychoanalysis is based on the support of life and empathetic living.
The threat with the punishment of those that sin, if only with the thought (fantasy), thus denying human nature.
The absence of moral judging actions, feelings and thoughts of the patient.
Religion preaches healing by spiritual purifying, magic gesture-based, derived from the omnipotent thinking (canon, prayer, the sign of the cross, etc.).
Psychoanalytic therapy invites to acceptance by affirming inner freedom.
Confession is the divine way.
The psychoanalytic method helps the patient to look for and choose his / her best unique way.
Priest advises getting actively involved in the moral life of the believer.
The analyst refrains to guide or imply in any way.
Confession uses the religious authority transfer that the priest is invested with.
Psychoanalysis interprets the transference.
The obvious disadvantage of religious confession comparing to the psychoanalytic method is to ignore human nature: the most dangerous secrets are the ones that you cannot tell to yourself.
English psychoanalyst Ronald Fairbairn said:
The human being prefers a despotic God than an unpredictable devil inside.
The external danger is easier to control than coming from the inner anguish that you cannot defend by avoidance.
The Romanian priest Galeriu said in a televised discussion that mental illness is caused by breaking the link with God.
I wonder what treatment the confessor had in mind, the monasticism? The exorcism?