Psychology in traditional Catholic philosophy is a subdivision which studies the movements of the soul.
But nature abhors a vacuum:
When modern (ie., post-French Revolution) secular society pushed aside the priest, it quickly discovered the need for someone else to address these movements.
This set the stage for the advent of the psychiatrist and the psychologist.
The metaphysics (ie., foundational principles) of these men was antithetical to the Christian combat: Being atheistic at core, the movements of the soul were no longer prescribed primarily to spiritual causes (as we know from the discernment of spirits is so often the case), but from biological, chemical, and/or environmental.
Consequently, the cure or treatment for psychical affliction is no longer practical or spiritual (eg., get more sleep; stay off drugs; strike a balance between mental and physical work; pray regularly and use the sacramental; speak with learned priests; form virtuous habits; become conscious -without obsessing- to the discernment of spirits; use herbal remedies to aid and relax the mind; etc.), but chemical (Prozac, Ativan, etc.) or mental (Freud’s deranged psychoanalysis).
Consequently, the new counselors only treat the unpleasant symptoms of psychical disturbances, but rarely address the causes. Or more accurately, owing to their atheistic metaphysics, misdiagnose an effect (eg., insufficient or excess serotonin production) as the cause of anxiety for the cause, when the cause of that chemical imbalance may have no physical or chemical cause at all (ie., there may be a spiritual cause behind the imbalance, which is a preposterous thought for an atheistic psychiatrist, and may also explain why some imbalances are not cured with medicine when in theory they should be.
I am not arguing there is no place for a pill, or that a modern psychiatrist cannot help people. But I am arguing that their fairly limited tunnel vision does not take into consideration the entire gamut of possible causes exerting influence upon the movements of the soul, as a priest would.
It was interesting to me that in Msgr. Benson’s sequel to “Lord of the World,” titled “Dawn of All,” the entire island of Ireland was one large Carthusian monastery, and the apostolate of the Carthusians on that island was to treat the mentally afflicted, which, in the book, was found in 90% of the cases to have had a spiritual cause.
Is it any wonder that as our world slips further and further from traditional Catholic spirituality, the drastic increase in “mental illness” should explode?
I wonder how much of this mental illness today has at its source a spiritual cause?