Psychoanalysis was not always seen as incompatible with Christianity. No less a thinker than C. S. Lewis, the great writer on Christianity, said that Christianity takes up where psychotherapy leaves off. In his book, Mere Christianity, Lewis makes a distinction between Freud’s treatment methods and his theories, saying that the theories were in direct opposition to Christianity but the practice was not. The job of psychotherapy was seen as identifying what was in a person’s way of becoming the person they wanted to be: irrational thoughts, fears, complexes, etc. Lewis writes, “The bad psychological material is not a sin, but a disease. It does not need to be repented of, but to be cured.” And many churches do offer counseling services now with licensed social workers or therapists in recognition that Christians can benefit from psychotherapy from an explicitly Christian standpoint.
I’m not saying that my church was unsupportive. My Sunday School class has been nothing but supportive and understanding of my condition, checking on me when I was in the hospital and praying for me whenever I requested it. My pastors have been faithful to pray with me whenever I’ve requested it during an altar call and individual consultations. Those who did not understand I have forgiven and feel no malice towards. I just pray that the church can continue to make progress in learning about mental illness and how to minister to those who have it.