Christians and Therapy
There seem to be so many out there... I mean, should I look analytically at my self, socially at my relationships and work, psychologically at my thoughts, biologically (with drugs) at my brain chemials, naturally at my links to nature, existentially at my meanings? Freud, Beck, Szasz, Skinner, Pavlov, Reike, Prozac - each of these schools is so passionate about it's own approach that it seems to lose sight of the bigger picture. Is there a way in whcih they can all be right, yet all have something to learn too
As a Christian, I can read the account of the start of mankind in Genesis chapters 1-2. I don't believe that this all happened in seven days, but i do believe it gives us valuable insights into what we could be like as human beings. It tells us that once upon a time we were all healthy:
socially - we had a husband/wife pair and enjoyed our work in the garden
existentially - we knew out place in the greater scheme of things
psychologically - we were happy with ourselves and our nakedness
naturally - we were in harmony with creation
biologically/physcially - we had no illness or disease
Then it all went wrong - in ALL FIVE of the above areas. And things seem in a pretty mess today.
So why shouldn't we make use of any and every available technique to restore these various aspects of my life. I want the right pills to re-establish the chemicals in my brain, I want CBT to help me with unhelpful styles of thinking, I want social psychiatry to help me regain my community value, I want traditional emphases to help me find my place in nature, I want existential consideration of my place in the universe.
In fact, as a Christian who has the Genesis account to hand, I think I have a respoinsibility to think holistically and not to get carried away with just one type of help or therapy? But I also have a responsibility to bring the God of the story in Genesis very clearly into the picture - no therapy can do that
Rob Waller, 23/07/2008
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