Many view confession as a stage through which one must advance in order to find psychic relief. Even those who hate the religious foundations of confession esteem it for its therapeutic effects. Yet because of this, confession, taken as therapy, has been misapplied. By making a way of life into a mere phase, the early psychologists emptied confession of its ancient power. So confession is no longer the activity by which one walks in the light; by which earthly and heavenly life are integrated; by which one remembers sins in order to live worthily under grace. Instead, as the first step to a supposedly therapeutic forgetfulness, it has become for most—momentary, discrete, disconnected from life—a masturbatory release.