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Psychology in Questions and Answers
by Hilarion Duerk, OFM

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What makes traditional Catholic psychology so helpful?

In the past 40 years or so, Catholic pastors of souls have emptied themselves of some of the most valuable tools available. One of them is a Catholic approach to psychology which dates back to St. Thomas Aquinas. Its starting point is Catholic teaching about free will and manís immortal soul. It is this approach which is expounded here -- in easy question-and-answer format designed for laymen -- and harmonized with the genuine discoveries of psychologists.

Author Hilarion Duerk, OFM, a leading Catholic expert on psychology in the 1930s, doesn't mince words about the landmines hidden in this field: "Some works of psychology are materialistic and contain pernicious errors; others are vials of poison and lead directly to moral degradation and spiritual death." But as taught by Fr. Duerk, psychology becomes a trustworthy tool for increasing self-knowledge, overcoming emotional difficulties, and conquering defects of character:


  • 8 beneficial uses of psychology, when practiced properly

  • 5 ways that correct psychology enables us preserve a sound mind in ourselves or others

  • Which mental disorders are emotional or psychogical in origin, which mostly physical?

  • Explained: free will as the controlling force in human conduct

  • 3 requirements for the normal functioning of the will. How internal and external agencies can sometimes hamper its freedom

  • Two types of "behavioristic" psychology -- one dangerous and false, the other well-founded and useful

  • The meaning of the "subconscious mind." 10 ways it manifests itself

  • What is a psychological "complex"? What are their types? Causes? Effects? How can they be cured?

  • Dreams: why we have them? Do they relate to our waking and subconscious lives? How knowledge of them can occasionally be useful to us

  • Where Freud went wrong concerning sexuality and dreams

  • Neuroses and psychoses: types, definitions, symptoms, causes and cures

  • The drive that is "supreme" in our makeup. Three others that are "dominant"

  • 10 types of disorders or defects of the will (#3: "Hesitancy"). How can they be cured?

  • 6 steps to developing or strengthening will-power. 3 influences that weaken it

  • 8 influences that tax our self-control. 4 steps for improving it

  • Habits: 5 basic types. How good ones are acquired or perfected. 8 principles for breaking bad ones

  • Alcoholism and drug abuse

  • 10 factors for acquiring or improving personal efficiency

  • 3 things that determine a person's character

  • Essential ingredients of a superior character. How to acquire or cultivate one

  • 13 rules for training the intellect

  • Coping with anxiety and depression

  • "Manias" (irresistible impulses): 12 types

  • Phobias (irresistible fears): 24 types. How they are treated

  • Dangers to be avoided in the cultivation of the imagination

  • Illusions, hallucinations and their causes

  • Techniques for improving the memory

  • How emotions can affect the body and physical health

  • 3 ways to control extremes of emotion

  • Differences between impulses and instincts, and between impulses and reflex actions

  • Discerning between good and evil desires

  • The faculty of attention, and how it is influenced. 3 ways to foster the habit of being attentive

  • 4 types or qualities of attentiveness that are necessary for the successful person


The eminent Vincent de Paul King, M.D., enumerates the special virtues of this book in his Preface: "Definitions are marvelously short, correct and clear ... The arguments that the human soul is substantial, simple, spiritual, rational, immortal, are as solid and convincing as any proposed in the most voluminous works.

"... psychological theories are treated with clearness, profound knowledge, consideration and justice. False theories are rejected, plausible theories are treated as theories, and facts are announced as facts. ... [this is] one of the ... best treatises on the elements of psychology I have ever read."

Reviewers in 1936: "Amazing treasure of useful, clear-cut information in psychology, scholastic and modern ... condenses a large amount of valuable information into a handy volume, arranging that information in a very attractive fashion." -- America


"The outlook of the author is Catholic and scholastic." -- The Sign

  • Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1936

Hardcover


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