RX: THE CHRISTIAN LOVE TREATMENT by Alphonse & William Proctor Calabrese


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Dr. Calabrese is a psychotherapist and Catholic pentecostal; his book is a homey, semi-practical account of his evangelic approach to psychic healing. After building up a successful Park Avenue practice (and losing his boyhood faith along the way), he underwent conversion at a Billy Graham crusade, gradually integrated religion and work, and ultimately committed himself to an avowedly Christian therapy. His method (propagated at his Christian Institute for Psychotherapeutic Studies on Long Island) is rudimentary Freudianism--with something of Frankl--transformed by charismatic Christianity. The bulk of the book draws out the implications of this ""Christian love treatment"" for handling basic psychological problems (depression, anxiety, sexual hangups, psychosis, etc.); each discussion is a pastiche of case histories, Biblical quotes, and quite conservative counseling. Healing, Calabrese feels, is the work of the Spirit, and all born-again Christians can participate in it; hence, these instructions. Many will find his prescription hard to swallow (homosexuality is treated as a mental illness; ""every girl"" is said to want a prince charming to make her into a real woman). Proctor's ghostly hand avails little in alleviating the atmosphere of self-congratulatory fervor and bourgeois paternalism. Psychotherapy fundamentalist style.

Pub Date: July 2nd, 1976
Publisher: Doubleday