The first meeting with new clients, especially those who know nothing about our Center, is always an adventure! Some have researched the website extensively or been referred over from other clients and have at least a cursory understanding of what we do.
The most intriguing sessions, however, involve those who typically perceive that their situation is unique and will likely require a mix of psychology, psychiatry (that is, medicine) and spiritual counseling.
We rarely get past beyond a single session with these folks when they understand clearly our perspective. We believe that psychotropic medications (for depression, anxiety and the like) represent temporary “Band-Aid” fixes at best and share that without prejudice or judgment.
The word psychology comes from the Greek word, “psyche”. Psyche was the Greek goddess of the soul. That alone should be enough to raise some serious red flags for Christians: why would be inclined to find “truth” in the realm of Greek mythology?
The term has been secularized over the years; here is how the American Psychological Association defines it: “Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. The discipline embraces all aspects of the human experience — from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, from child development to care for the aged. In every conceivable setting from scientific research centers to mental healthcare services (italics added).
Does psychology define “all aspects” of the human experience? The Christian and biblical perspective should be: “absolutely not!” We are body, soul and spirit. Our spirit man gets born again at salvation and the Holy Spirit comes and dwells within us. The soul comprises the mind/will, memory and emotions. There is a conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind. There is God, a triune being, who has a good plan for and there are demonic spirits whose purpose is to kill, steal and destroy.
The study of psychology is totally at odds with this perspective so why would a believer want to mix the two? Does the study of psychology have some truths about the nature of man? Of course it does but the same truths are supported by Scripture! Even a blind squirrel can find nuts.
We respect the reality that some counselors will try to incorporate one into the other and many secular counselors will include some scripture if it supports their view. Our contention is simple: the Word of God, coupled with his power, is more than enough for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). When science is able to confirm that which is in the bible it is useful and helpful and we are happy to incorporate it into our counseling practice.
Update: See our YouTube blog post on this same topic!