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Norman Vincent Peale, Smiley Blanton and the Hidden Energies of the Mind

  • Donald Capps
Original Paper

Abstract

This article on Norman Vincent Peale and Smiley Blanton, who cofounded the American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry in 1937, focuses on books that they wrote in the 1950s: Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking (1952) and Blanton’s Love or Perish (1956). Similarities between Peale’s problem-solving techniques and Milton E. Erickson’s psychotherapeutic methods are demonstrated, and Blanton’s indebtedness to psychoanalytic theories and methods is also shown. The Peale–Blanton collaboration suggests that pastoral counselors may legitimately employ these very different therapeutic approaches depending on the needs of the individual counselee. On the other hand, the fact that they subscribed to very different therapeutic approaches raises the question as to whether the two men shared anything in common as far as their professional work with individuals was concerned. The answer is that both believed that we humans possess an enormous reservoir of untapped energies that, when released and appropriately directed, are capable of effecting fundamental changes in an individual’s life.

Keywords

Norman Vincent Peale Smiley Blanton Milton E. Erickson William James Sigmund Freud Problem-solving methods Psychoanalytic methods The unconscious mind Untapped energies Sublimation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Princeton Theological SeminaryPrincetonUSA

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