Separation of Church and Psychology?


Dr. Adam Pearson

Approved ProvenTherapist

Separation of Church and Psychology?

 
 
 
The combination of Spirituality and therapy has been long debated over the past century, but in recent years it has been proven prayer and meditation helps improve any medical condition. Psychiatry is a distinct part of medicine concerning the treatment of mental disorders and diagnoses. It was once thought including "God" in a patient's spiritual life was actually worthless and should not be included in the assessment and treatment of a person in therapy.
There has been a shift in recent years and most graduate school, both secular and religious, teach future clinicians that a person's spiritual beliefs is vital in the therapeutic relationship, assessment of the patient's beliefs about the world and their role in it, and most importantly the fact that research has proven faith is vital in helping treating any medical condition. 
 
When treating a patient in therapy all areas of a person's life should be addressed including their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual life. When one are of a person's life is affected all areas of their life are affected as well, both good and bad. For example, a patient who gets a promotion and raise at work would typically feel better both physically and emotionally, thank God for their blessing, and their self-confidence is improved instantly because this person ties in their identity with their performance.
 
Change creates change, and change is inevitable in life. Both positive and negative occurrences are going to happen in every human being's life and these changes evolve a person's life, both internal and external, the key is how the person handles it. An example of a negative change is the same person mentioned above is fired from his job for poor performance. This person has always had low self-esteem and this exacerbates their view of who they are. If this is person is the provider for his family, he feels depressed and spends less time with his family BELIEVING he is a failure in all areas of his life and is mad at God for allowing this to happen. He then continues to believe this and starts acting like a failure making the false belief a reality of sorts. This person needing support and counseling might start drinking, having suicidal thoughts, isolating their partner and kids affecting their lives and possibly getting divorced. The domino affect comes to play when significant changes, again both good and bad, intrude into a person's life.
 
When a person's spiritual life is affected this can be the most damaging or vital part of their treatment. If a person believes their God has abandoned them then the person usually projects this belief on every person in their life, most importantly to him/herself. Their are counselors who only do Christian Counseling, spiritual counseling, and some therapists are on the opposite end where they see no use of discussing God because of their own personal beliefs about who God is etc.
 
When choosing a therapist ask them before starting therapy if they include the spiritual life of a patient if that is important. Some therapists will share their spiritual beliefs IF IT HELPS THE PATIENT and not for their own purpose. Therapy 101 is everything done in therapy is for the patient and the therapist's job is to be their advocate and advise them on what is healthy. The difference between a psychic and medical provider is a clinician will tell a patient what they need to hear versus what they "want to hear".
 
In conclusion, including spirituality in therapy has been proven to be a vital part of treatment and prayer/meditation has also been proven to help any medical condition. Therefore, do not be afraid to talk about your God as your relationship with God or you not believing in God is going to affect your life either way and needs to be included in the course of treatment. There are several books and research articles on this subject which a person can find by simply using Google Scholar or Google search.
 

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