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Archive for the ‘Counseling Errors’ Category

Psychology and the Bible

Posted on: January 2nd, 2010 by Matt No Comments

The problem with much of the teaching in Christian psychology is that it sounds so close to the truth. Integrationists frequently use Bible verses and Christian jargon to give seemingly biblical support for their psychological counsel. Indeed, I am sure many of these counselors have sincere intentions as they attempt to interweave biblical instruction with psychological concepts. Yet a careful examination of the books written by these counselors shows that the Scriptures, in many cases, are being handled quite carelessly. And because few Christians today know their Bibles well enough to detect teaching that stands in subtle or even blatant opposition to God’s truth, many have actually been led further away from God rather than closer to Him.

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© 2010, LearnTheology.com. All rights reserved. Permission must be obtained from LearnTheology.com to use or copy any part of this post.

The Myth That Psychology Can Heal the Past

Posted on: January 2nd, 2010 by Matt No Comments

Article by Ed Bulkley

According to widely accepted psychological theory, humans are captives of their past. Many Christian writers use the term “adult children” to describe people who were damaged in their youth by divorce or emotional or physical abuse. They generally believe that we must return to the past in order to experience healing in the present. One Christian psychologist says, “We are as much our past as we are our present and our hopes for the future. To cut off the past is to erase part of our story, our journey, our self. The reclamation of the past involves the courage to be all that we are so that we can be all that we will be in our relationships to others.”1 He lists three purposes for the journey into the past: “removal of the denial, reclamation of the self, and movement toward real change.”2

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© 2010, LearnTheology.com. All rights reserved. Permission must be obtained from LearnTheology.com to use or copy any part of this post.

The Myth That Psychology Is Trustworthy

Posted on: January 2nd, 2010 by Matt 1 Comment

Article by Ed Bulkley

Can a Christian trust psychology? This is the essential question one must consider in evaluating the mixing of psychological concepts and Scripture in Christian counseling.

The Contrived Medical Model

William Kirwan presents his case for integrating psychology and theology in his book Biblical Concepts for Christian Counseling. He believes that psychology is “the science of mental processes and behavior.”1 If psychology is a science along the lines of medicine, one could expect a fair amount of agreement within the trade. Indeed, newcomers normally view psychology, psychiatry, and other forms of counseling as a rather unified discipline. Those who have studied the field, however, know that there are literally hundreds of distinct and contradictory therapeutic approaches to counseling—with thousands of conflicting techniques—all claiming to cure the human psyche.

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© 2010, LearnTheology.com. All rights reserved. Permission must be obtained from LearnTheology.com to use or copy any part of this post.

The Myth of Psychological Labels

Posted on: January 2nd, 2010 by Matt 2 Comments

Article by Ed Bulkley

All around America are self-help groups that meet to provide mutual support for hurting people. Many of these groups meet in churches. One common factor in their discussions is psychospeak, a vocabulary composed by psychological experts and taught in books, magazines, radio, and television. Psychospeak uses labels to describe every human behavior. The labels are often presented in noun form: “an ill person,” “an adult child,” “an abused person,” “a handicapped person,” “an addict,” “an alcoholic,” “an enabler,” a “codependent,” “a kleptomaniac,” “a psychotic,” “a foodaholic,” “a schizophrenic,” “a nymphomaniac,” and an endless selection of other designations. In common conversation, these terms are often preceded by the confession “I am…” as a person accepts his assigned role in our “dysfunctional” society. The labels produce more confusion than solution.

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© 2010, LearnTheology.com. All rights reserved. Permission must be obtained from LearnTheology.com to use or copy any part of this post.

The Myth That Psychology Is Motivated by Compassion

Posted on: January 2nd, 2010 by Matt No Comments

Article by Ed Bulkley

The popular image of the money-grubbing fundamentalist preacher has grown in recent years due to the excessive lifestyles of some televangelists. Most people should be aware, however, that the average pastor is on the low end of the professional pay scale. His weekly responsibilities include sermon preparation, business administration, committee meetings, hospital visitation, staff leadership, long-range planning, teaching, preaching, and a host of other tasks. In addition, his parishioners call on him for comfort, help, and advice. Rarely does he charge extra for counseling, though people often expect him to schedule sessions during evenings or weekends. Yet people are heard to whisper as the offering plate goes by, “All the church wants is my money.”

In sharp contrast, psychiatrists and psychologists seldom pass the plate for a freewill offering. Their fees are set, and if the client expects continued service, he had better pay, and pay promptly. The patients are expected to take time off from work and come for counseling when there is an opening in the doctor’s schedule. Yet the stereotypes persist that psychotherapists are motivated by compassion, while pastors are greedy money-vacuums.

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© 2010, LearnTheology.com. All rights reserved. Permission must be obtained from LearnTheology.com to use or copy any part of this post.

The Myth That Psychology Is Effective

Posted on: January 2nd, 2010 by Matt No Comments

Article by Ed Bulkley

A woman, age 31, complains of chronic depression and low self-esteem. She has been under psychiatric care since she was a teenager, but has not improved. A fed-up husband is ready to call off his marriage because of the perpetual expense of his wife’s psychiatric sessions, which are producing no positive results. A young woman has been diagnosed as schizophrenic and has been given strong psychoactive drugs which temporarily mask her symptoms.

The majority of experienced pastoral counselors have met many such clients of psychological counseling.

You might be tempted to ask, “Why would anyone submit to psychological counseling if it never helps anyone?” Few serious critics of psychology go so far as to say that no one is ever helped through psychological counseling. A better way to ask the question might be, With its claims of superiority over pastoral counseling and its high expense, why is psychological therapy so relatively ineffective?

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© 2010, LearnTheology.com. All rights reserved. Permission must be obtained from LearnTheology.com to use or copy any part of this post.

The Myth That Psychology Is Scientific

Posted on: January 2nd, 2010 by Matt 2 Comments

Article by Ed Bulkley

An exciting new science explaining the human mind and behavior was introduced by a doctor in Vienna, Austria. His theories influenced prominent writers like Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Educator Horace Mann declared that he was more indebted to this fresh science than to all the metaphysical books he had ever read. The world-renowned preacher Henry Ward Beecher praised this innovative explanation of human behavior as revealing the principles which underpinned his entire ministry. Horace Greeley thought this new method of evaluating people should be used as the basis for hiring applicants for dangerous jobs. This new understanding of the mind was received enthusiastically at Yale, Harvard, and the Boston Medical Society.

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© 2010, LearnTheology.com. All rights reserved. Permission must be obtained from LearnTheology.com to use or copy any part of this post.

Is Psychology Needed in the Church?

Posted on: January 2nd, 2010 by Matt No Comments

Article by Ed Bulkley

There is growing confusion in today’s Christian community about the best way to help people overcome their personal problems of living. Some believe that Christians should submit only to biblical counseling, while others passionately support psychological counseling so long as it is integrated with the Scriptures.

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© 2010, LearnTheology.com. All rights reserved. Permission must be obtained from LearnTheology.com to use or copy any part of this post.

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