A Young Woman says:
Psychomoralitics has radically changed my life. I spent thirteen years suffering from severe anxiety and panic attacks and went through many forms of costly and ineffective traditional therapies. I always believed that the root of my emotional problems was spiritual, but I found little understanding from the traditional mental health field and was even encouraged to leave the Catholic Church during a particularly difficult time. God gave me the grace to persevere despite much suffering and waiting, and He lead me to Dr. Dilsaver and Psychomoralitics. I finally understand the spiritual basis for my problems, and I have been improving dramatically without the use of numbing medications, useless therapy, or harmful new age practices. As a form of spiritual direction, Psychomoralitics has changed my life forever, and has brought new and deeper understanding about God and my vocation.
The Imago Dei Way has also helped me find deep healing and support for my femininity which was warped in many ways by our culture's negative influences. I feel like I am becoming the person that I was created to be, and I feel that it is much easier for me to express my true feminine and Christian nature than it ever was before. I would strongly recommend this form of spiritual direction to anyone who needs help in their lives and I cannot vouch for its effectiveness enough.
A Single Father says:
After having gone through a difficult divorce, I struggled to find peace and visited many mental health practitioners for a few years and received varying diagnoses of depression, bipolar, and anxiety. Seeking relief from intense emotional pain, I followed suggested protocols of psychotherapy and prescription psychotropic medicines, but I found myself in a more troubled state and sick from each “medicine.” A friend recommended Dr. Dilsaver and Psychomoralitics and within a few spiritual interventions my life had a new sense of meaning and I learned that my inner pain was part of a rational soulful human experience. It has been a few years since meeting Dr Dilsaver and following Psychomoralitics and life continues to have its share of pains and crosses, but in each there is a new opportunity to learn to embrace those crosses, say “yes” to Christ crucified and to trust in Divine Providence. Dr Dilsaver gives guidance in an endeavor of the soul which seeks truth and reality through the abnegation of ego and its false self. Dr Dilsaver teaches a true spiritual science of the soul that is radically unlike my earlier experience with “psychologists” who had me try to cope with reality by reframing it, and/or become numb to the pain of that reality. The psychomoralitic dynamics of embracing, surrendering to, and being thankful for life’s challenges ends up being the better choice. Thank you Dr Dilsaver.
A Woman entering a Contemplative Order says:
I was thinking about what makes the Imago Dei Way and Psychomoralitics so powerful... It is the grace that comes from understanding that one is made in the image and likeness of God. It is here that one encounters Christ Crucified and learns to say yes to all the joys and sufferings that the Lord may send all for love of Him.
For a long time Ive been struggling with my faith particularly in regards to the suffering that friends and family underwent in the past few years. The more intense the suffering became, the greater the bitterness, the darkness and the struggle.
What I did not realize was that this struggle in my faith and this bitterness was caused by a deep rooted misunderstanding of my faith. I was living and practicing my faith expecting that the exchange was that God would make everything in my life easy and painless. My faith life was completely egocentric. It was based on self love and pride. What is God going to do for me and how is it all going to build up my ego?
When the suffering came, my ability to cope with it all was absolutely null. My faith life, founded on this false concept, fell apart.
It wasn't until I began to talk to Dr Dilsaver that I began to understand that something had gone askew in my walk with Christ, and how truly corrupt my way of thinking was.
The grace to understand and put all of this into practice came for me all at once. Now I can say with confidence all that he taught: I want to decrease so that Christ may increase; I want to suffer for love of God; I want to die to myself so that Christ may live; that the Lord may heal me so that I may suffer more all for love of Jesus and to say 'yes' and 'thank you' to whatever the Lord Wills.
I pray that this little overview gives you a little idea of the integral human formation that the Imago Dei Way offers. It is my hope to raise awareness of the beauty and the simplicity that this way offers. What is more striking is that I could not find the adequate direction I needed in years of intense spiritual direction from very qualified Priests. How many Priests are at a loss in regards to how to give spiritual direction? How long have I been walking in darkness because of my own sin, because of my egocentricity and had no idea that this was happening.
Regarding the formation one must undergo in order to lead others along the Imago Dei Way, it has been clear to me that one must first learn to conform oneself to the Crucified Lord in order to be able to lead others along this same path. My understanding of the suffering one must go through to help another to grow in their faith, is simply patient endurance... but this can be very trying and purgative, especially if the one who is receiving direction is struggling in their faith or burdened with many sorrows.
I think the general human response to suffering or misery is to want to flee or to give up helping if what is said to try to alleviate the situation was not first successful. In patiently bearing with these sorrows of the other, the director conforms themselves more and more to the Crucified Christ and in a way brings the life of Christ to the directee.
What is more important than knowing that one is made in the image and likeness of God, has been redeemed by Jesus, and is called and even is privileged to bear sufferings for love of God so as to allow Christ Crucified to reign in ones soul? As Saint Paul exhorts the Galatians, "[...] far be it from me to glory except in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6.14). All of this being understood in the light of the Risen Christ, so that as one comes to share in His sufferings one has the hope of one day sharing in His glory.
Instead of being taught to 'cope' with these sufferings or to take medicine so as to dull the pain, this way teaches one to embrace these sufferings with open arms, to allow ones suffering to pierce one through. How many have deem themselves the victim and have believed themselves to be in the 'dark night' of the soul when they really are caught up in perpetual adoration of their own victim self? To suffer for love of Jesus, means to say 'yes' to the suffering for love of Him and then to remain in adoration of the Lord, to remain in His presence. It is all about the Lord. We are made for Him, He is not here for us. One learns to thank Jesus for all and in the end to allow Christ Crucified to reign in ones soul. It is these sufferings which become transformed into incredible vehicles of grace; for as we allow Christ Crucified to live in us we partake in His redeeming work of bringing souls to life in Him for all eternity.
In a world in which diabolical attacks against the Christian faith are steadily on the increase, and the culture of death so prevalent, it is the Cross of Christ which will provide the only life-giving antidote. As Saint Paul wrote, "For the word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. [...] we preach Christ Crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1.18, 23-24). Through the Imago Dei Way, one is enabled to enter into the Cross of Christ so as to partake in His life-giving grace.To have gone from feeling sorry for myself, depressed and self-centered to taking joy in the sufferings that Christ has sent my way, begging Him to allow me to die so that he may live, and saying yes to whatever He asks this is the Imago Dei Way. Thank you, Jesus!
A Priest says:
The Imago Dei Way has given me a new thrust in my commitment to Christ, to Mary His Mother and to the Church, and not only as a priest but as a man. I like the non-bureaucracy approach of Dr. Dilsaver. It is simply a man to man endeavor renewing the most needed values of manhood that are lost in our society today. At large, manly commitment is so lost in our day and age, so here at Imago Dei it can here be recuperated. In the prophesies of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917, Our Lady said that “Russia will spread her errors throughout the world causing wars and persecutions of the Church.” Gender roles have been hit hard by communistic ideology especially here in the United States through the sexual revolution in 1968. It is paramount to see the work of Dr Dilsaver doing so much good. His input to help people rediscover their God given identities is deeply needed at present. Men need to be encouraged to take responsibilities for their lives and dodge all together the sentimental red tape so common place today.
A Single Mother says:
I contacted Dr. Dilsaver after my son had been put on Ritalin. My son had been just previously put into a partial-hospital program which left him wrongly exposed to sexual ideas beyond what he needed to know at 10 years of age: they even asked him why, I, a divorced single parent was not involved with dating and bringing men to our house. His behavior previously had been what seem like out of control, but the child that returned from the partial-hospital program was in no better control of his behavior and in addition had been polluted with what the mental health system termed “normal behavior and ideas.” I read about Dr. Dilsaver’s work in our diocesan paper and called him about my son. He made an appointment for both of us to see him and for the next several years, in addition to my son's worh with him, I worked with Dr. Dilsaver on what I contributed to my son’s behavior and what he (and I) needed to learn about his own (and mine) pride and self-love. Following Psychomoralitic spiritual mentoring my son was off all medication within several months and has never returned to needing it in the 12 years since that time. I too learned to recognize my own contributions to the problems in our family, deal with eliminating them, and was able to finally trust someone with the issues that years of prior psychotherapy had never touched upon, and was able to utilized my faith and strengthened it. I recognized that what Dr. Dilsaver taught was true because it so accurately corresponded to the demands and workings of the Faith. Psychomoralitics is the only way to remedy mal-being and even so-called symptomatic “mental disorders." Psychomoralitics allows a soul to respond to its true calling.
A Family Man says:
Psychomoralitics is ‘the’ antidote to our current self-absorbed culture. A newfound ability to identify reality, arms the directee to face the ‘vicissitudes of life’. By treating the ‘cause’ instead of the ‘symptom’,Psychomoralitics provides a tool for disciplining human nature while facilitating characterological stability and interior peace. Psychomoralitics is the springboard for inserting Thomistic thought regarding human nature, then answering and potentially healing essential mal-being caused by current radical secular-based trends now endemic in Western culture.
A Mother Superior of an Active Order says:
Dr. Dilsaver and the Imago Dei Way has been a great blessing to our community. So too, the psychomoralitic process brings healing, wholeness, and holiness when the therapant chooses to follow its path. Instead of much of modern psychotherapy that does more harm than good by feeding the ego and encouraging fleeing from suffering by too readily prescribing drugs, Psychomoralitics is totally in accord with Thomistic principles of traditional Catholic teaching to embrace the cross for love of Christ, joyful surrender to Divine Providence, and fosters love of God and love of neighbor. I encourage my sisters to speak with Dr. Dilsaver when they are struggling with some spiritual or psychomoral issue, and I notice that after they talk to him, they have much peace. He has a gentle manner that enables him to speak the hard truth to his therapants and yet communicate his loving concern for them.
I thank God for bringing Dr. Dilsaver and Imago Dei into our lives. Not only because of the help it renders to the sisters, but also because I can refer lay people to Imago Dei Center when they come to me with their problems, some of which are quite serious, e.g., a son or daughter with same sex attraction, marital problems, etc. When I refer them to Imago Dei Center I am confident they will find help.
A Doctoral Candidate says:
The Church has all of the answers, psychomoralitics fosters a platform for which to exercise those remedies when confronting reality, and the guaranteed sufferings of life”.
An Airline Pilot says:
“During reality-based intervention Psychomoralitics encompasses the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, and is in complete accord with St. Alphonsus Liquori, Thomas A. Kempis, St. John of the Cross, the Desert Fathers and others. A person can develop an ability to ‘say yes’ while confronting the tribulations Jesus emphasized might occur in the ‘Vale of Tears’. By embracing the Cross, one can purgate disordered pride and self-love while simultaneously facing problems head-on”.
A Married Couple says:
"Dr. Dilsaver has been a Godsend. He has a way of cutting to the quick and focusing on the most important things in life. Without Psychomoralitics and Imago Dei I don't think our marriage would be together today!"
A Catholic Sister:
"Through my Psychomoraliticspiritual direction sessions with Dr. Dilsaver I was able to learn different habits that would make my religious life enjoyable again, something that through time had been lost."
A Catholic Nun says:
"A few months ago I was blessed to renew my vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as a Catholic religious sister for three years. At the end of these next three years, God willing, I will make final profession and be forever espoused to Jesus Christ, my Beloved. However, around six months ago I found myself struggling in my vocation. I was really confused and may have ended up leaving my holy vocation if I had not come across Dr. Dilsaver and his way of helping others through Imago Dei. Through my psychomoralitics sessions with Dr. Dilsaver I was able to learn different habits that would make my religious life enjoyable again, something that through time had been lost. He encouraged me to grow in virtue, especially in humility. Instead of running from the cross I am learning to embrace it with love and to say, “Thank You, Jesus.”
Dr. Dilsaver also helped me understand and know the Blessed Virgin Mary in a more profound way. He opened up to me the essential dimension of the mother of Jesus Christ as a Lady of Sorrows and helped me to sorrow as she did, to feel pain as she did, and to forget myself as she did. Dr. Dilsaver showed me a woman whose heart was pierced, a woman of complete receptivity to the Divine Will of her Son, and then caused me to ponder whether I as a woman religious should try to imitate Our Lady.
The perfect imitate of Our Lady is an impossible task but one I hope to always attempt: to be for Jesus what Our Lady was for Him, to love Him with all my strength. Life is only about Our Lord Jesus Christ, only about loving Him. Dr. Dilsaver and the Imago Dei Way have helped me realize this and to find again my first love, Jesus Christ."
A Mental Health Professional says:
I started in the mental health system when I was 16 years old. I made what looked like an attempt at suicide by taking about 36 over-the-counter sleeping pills. This got me hospitalized and sent the psychiatric wing where I was medicated with anti-depressants, which I learned how to avoid swallowing from other patients. It was decided since I was a risk for acting out, I should go to an in-patient facility in the city. I went there and was given a psychiatrist who was very distant and what seemed to me disapproving. I did not feel I could trust him. I met with him several times per week and family sessions were scheduled after I had been there a couple months. I was confronted by my mother with wasting time due to my bad attitude and lack of cooperation with the therapy provided. I ended up being there on antidepressant medication for some 14 months. Finally, as I got into learning what I needed to do to get out of the facility and because I was going into college, I was released. Mostly what I learned was to take more responsibility for my behavior, but the pride and self-love at the bottom of all the acting out issues had not been touched on in a way that was needed.
During my years at college, I decided to major in psychology and doing quite well in it from what I considered an inside perspective that few of my fellow students had, I decided to get my Masters in Psychology so that I could do therapy with people who needed it. The Masters program was in a different city and I moved there and worked in a counseling capacity for about ten years after obtaining my Masters. I saw the system changing from being allowed to work with people and talk through their issues to a direction from superiors to work fast and not keep people talking in counseling for years at a time. I was also reprimanded for inserting Catholic values into my work with clients.
The issues I had not dealt with in my teens were worked through to a certain extent by, getting older, learning and living my Faith, and the challenges provided by an occupation where I was helping other people. I decided to go into another area of study outside psychology as I did not like the direction I saw the system going. However, there arose stressors that got me acting out again in terms of purposely cutting myself and not taking care of my health and I ended up seeing a psychiatrist again. Medication was prescribed, but nothing seemed to make what was going on inside go away. I got into a relationship which I should not have gotten into, got married outside the Church, and became pregnant with my son. The marriage became abusive and I left it with my son.
When my son got old enough to go to school, he started to have problems being able to sit still in class and pay attention to the teacher. This ended up with him being diagnosed as ADHD and having to be put on medication, Ritalin and Straterra. The medication not really helping my son led me to contact Dr. Dilsaver for help. Dr. Dilsaver worked with both my son and me and I was able to put a lot of what I knew about my behavior in the past into a context and put the help I needed into what I understood the Faith dictated. It was the first time in all the time I had sat with someone in the mental health profession that the tools of the Faith and understanding of what we need to do in living our Faith were utilized. I could deal with life being the Cross, I could deal with suffering and humiliation being part of our suffering in living our Faith. I had not been challenged in that way when I was a teenager, but at this point in my life, it all made sense. I did not have to fight the Faith to do what was needed to be done.
Psychomoralitics makes so much sense. Working with Dr. Dilsaver I was able to bring up all the points which confused me from my past and put them into something understandable. I could recognize my issues and responsibilities and those ways in which my parents’ needs had contributed to my issues. There is a lot that can be gained when I can draw on both what I know now about the psychomoral realm and what I can do to increase well-being therein with the tools provided by the Faith. This is what Dr. Dilsaver has taught me to do and what I can use in helping others.