*** DEBUG END ***

Psychotherapy and silent prayer

23 May 2014


From the Revd John Brown

Sir, - While acknowledging with the Revd Peter Mockford ( Letters, 9 May) the valued insights of modern psychology in the treatment of trauma within the Church, it would be tragic if this led to the neglect of the ancient Christian mystic tradition, going back to the Desert Fathers of the fourth century, with their search for a deeper spiritual experience through waiting upon God in silent contemplation.

The author Jane Christmas has recounted her struggle to find healing for the trauma of being raped by an executive of the company where she was employed 30 years earlier, which she eventually found during one Lent while staying with the nuns at St Hilda's Priory in Whitby, where she discovered, in her own words, that "deep faith can silence the brain chatter long enough to transform trauma into something lighter" (Features, 21 March). She never became a nun, but joined the sisterhood as an associate.

Self-awareness is the declared aim of psychotherapy, but can be aided by silent prayer, which, by stilling the conscious mind, allows the content of the subconscious to surface and gradually be transformed by the healing power of God. Many lay people have joined the World Community for Christian Meditation, whose members are committed to spending half an hour every morning and half an hour every evening in silence before God.

3 Manor Way
West Sussex PO22 6LA

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

Forthcoming Events

Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Church Times/Sarum College:

Traditions of Christian Spirituality

January - May 2024

This is a five-part series on major strands of the Christian spiritual tradition.

Book individual session tickets or sign up for the full programme


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)