Thursday, June 28, 2012



Rychlak’s (1981) final question asked: What unique procedures are followed by the theorist in readjusting the disordered personality?

Agnes Sanford (1972) had great success in spiritual healing. She discovered that she could use the same approach in the healing of the psyche as she had found successful in healing the body. She describes her method as follows:
“The first step in seeking to produce results by any power is to contact that power. . . . The second step is to turn it on. . . .The third step is to believe that the power is coming into use and to accept it by faith ( p. ix.)”

Building on Agnes Sanford’s work, the Sandfords (1985) described their steps as following: They pray for the little child inside the person and they conceptualize Jesus as being outside time and space, able to identify with the wounded spirit all the way back to the time of conception. When they sense that the Lord is identifying with that child or that prenatal being, they speak his words of comfort, reassurance and affirmation directly to the inner spirit of the person.

They state that they are placing “the cross of Christ (the stopping place for all sin)” between the child and all those who have hurt him or her even “back through his generations declaring that all of his inheritance be filtered through that cross.”

As they are praying, they are watching for the imagery and the impressions which the Holy Spirit produces in them as well as in the client. They then describe the images or impressions, encouraging the counselee to do the same. They especially watch for health-affirming images.

John Sandford (Sandford & Sandford 1982), for example, gives an illustration of how the process works by describing a vision God gave him for the healing of one homosexual. God showed him two poles like anode and cathode poles, radiating to balance each other. Then he saw the homosexual as having the poles crossed. The Lord said, “John, when you have done all else for a homosexual, by vision, see the poles reversed as I have shown you, and then stand and see as I reach in to disentangle those poles and set them in order.” (Pp. 314-315). Sandford “saw” the poles reversed and the man reported his homosexual desire was replaced by the desire for a woman. This change in personality persisted for more than 10 years at the time they wrote.

Other healers acknowledging the teachings of Sandford include the Linns, the MacNutts and the Pytches. Like the Sandfords, they are extending Agnes Sanford’s work. The Linns (1978) take the one being healed through Kubler-Ross’s five stages of bereavement. They call their technique the five stages of forgiveness. MacNutt (1974) developed a team to do what he called “soaking prayer,” believing from experience that if the team would pray long enough, the person would either be healed or vastly improved. Influenced by Wimber’s (1987) success in working with large gatherings, the Pytches (1985) adapt the inner healing techniques to mass audiences. Their technique, like Wimber’s is to invite the Holy Spirit to come upon the people and to reveal childhood traumas to individuals. Helpers pray with the person with whom the Holy Spirit is sealing. The helpers are instructed to keep asking the person seeking healing to “describe what the Holy Spirit is doing” during the process.

Linn, D. & Linn, M. (1978). Healing life’s hurts. New York: Paulist (a more recent edition is 2004)
MacNutt, F. (1974). Healing. New York: Bantam (a more recent edition is 1999)
Pytches, D. (1985) Come Holy Spirit. London: Hodder and Stoughton
Rychlak. J. (1981). Introduction to personality and psychotherapy: A theory-construction approach (2nd ed). New York: Harper and Row
Sandford, J. & Sandford, P. (1982) The transformation of the inner man. South Plainfield, NJ: Bridge (a more recent edition is 2007)
Sandford, J. & Sandford, P. (1985) Healing the wounded spirit. South Plainfield, NJ: Bridge
Sanford, A. (1958). The healing touch of God. New York: Ballentine (a more recent edition is 1987)
Sanford, A. (1972). The healing light (rev. ed.) New York: Ballentine (a more recent edition is 1983)
Stapleton, R. C. (1978) The experience of inner healing. New York: Bantam
Wimber, J. (1987). Power healing. San Francisco: Harper and Row


Patty said...

Thanks for sharing! I've learned a lot in your post. I've been doing some research about spiritual healing, and I happen to land here in your blog. So far, after having read your post, I found some similarities in Agnes Sanford's methods to Thetahealing. Contacting that power and giving life to that power would equate to something like praying to God, our Creator. Believing in that power would equate to focusing your thoughts embedded on your prayer.

Again, thanks for sharing! Having read this post is already a big step towards completing my research on Theta healing and healing in general.