Mental healing from the Bible and Psychology

 

NAB Acts 10:34-35 “God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.”

 

NKJ Job 11:7 “Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty?

 

Mental health is dealt with both in the Bible based Christianity and Psychology. Both viewpoints suggest ideas and concepts, which define and explain mental health phenomena. They also suggest practical methods of healing and help for people, who suffer emotional traumas, mental anguish and mental disturbance. There are a lot of mutual prejudices against each other. For example, a number of Psychologists consider Christianity impotent to render real help. This is not true. Many believers resist Psychology and deem it to be something like Extra-Sensory Perception or other satanic practices1. This is not true either, and you will be given a chance to be persuaded about it today.

Once a student of mine from Practical Psychology College who works as a School Psychologist related how the mother of her pupil, being an active believing Christian, refused to allow her son to attend a counseling session. The mother’s argument was, “You are a psychic (ESP).”

The goal of this presentation is to examine concepts and methods of achieving mental health and healing, suggested by Biblical Christianity and Psychology; to discover objective facts about common areas and differences between them; to define the source of those ideas and methods, to unveil popular misunderstandings.

Practical methods of mental healing are proposed by many branches of Psychology, in particular; Person-Centered Therapy2, Psychodynamic Therapy3, Cognitive Psychology, T-groups, Encounter groups, Gestalt Therapy4, etc.

There is a technology of healing of mind in the teaching and activity of Jesus Christ.5 and are described in the Bible. A psychiatrist once said, “With many of my patients I just take the Bible in hand and read to them Christ’s words. It is the best Psychotherapy”.

So let us compare Biblical teaching (Christianity based on the Bible) and Psychological approaches to mental healing, stated by the Bible and by the key Psychologists.

Continue reading Mental healing from the Bible and Psychology

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  1. Jones S. L., Butman R. E. (1991). Modern psychotherapies; a comprehensive Christian appraisal. Downers Grove, Illinois, Inter Varsity Press [-]
  2. Rogers, C. (1961). On Becoming a Person. Boston, Houghton Mifflin. [-]
  3. Smith D. (1990) “Psychodynamic Therapy: the Freudian approach”. Individual Therapy. Open University Press, pp. 18-38. [-]
  4. Polster, E. and Poslter, M.(1973). Gestalt Therapy Integrated. New York: Brunner Mazel. [-]
  5. Menj A. Christian teaching about Personality. Lecture at Moscow University. March, 1989 [-]

Finding My Soul Mate

 

The curse causeless shall not come.

—Proverbs 26:2 (KJV)

 

Prologue

 The truth is more amazing than fiction, and the story I tell here is true. I began as an emotional failure and an alienated loner doomed to spinsterhood, and became a happily married wife. At first, I offered my story only to friends. It made a deep impression upon them and inspired optimism; they advised me to publish it.

 

Chapter 1

King Solomon’s Descendant

When I was 7 years old, a dramatic vision made me believe that the most important in my life was to love and be loved.

Out of nowhere, there came a bright scene, which lingered for a long time. I smelled the freshness of a river in shadowy woods. A slim young man with dark hair stood on the bank of the river waiting for his chosen one. With a graceful smooth walk, a young woman met him. She wore a white ballroom dress with a fluffy, airy skirt. Her face glowed with a happy smile. She stretched her arms out for an embrace. She was confident in her happiness, in their mutual love. I believed I was to be that girl.

Later, this childhood impression grew into a conviction that the meaning of my life was to love a certain man. I wished to dedicate myself to him and to live by him and for him. However, an insidious voice inside whispered, “It will not work. You will not make it.” I listened to it. Moreover, I believed it.

For long decades, my private life went nowhere. Those I fell for were either indifferent to me or despised me. I felt rejected and hurt.

 

If I had met my future husband earlier,

either I would have not noticed him

or I would have pushed him away

 

If my early failures were just random and unfortunate, they should not have repeated themselves every time. I should have been able to connect with someone at least once. I was not ugly. Young men would come up to me in the street to express their interest. Nevertheless, they did not interest me, and I did not have any success with the guys whom I did like. If I liked someone, he would not like me—or vice versa. I kept asking myself, “Why are they not interested in me?” I thought I might have been cursed.

Continue reading Finding My Soul Mate

Good and Bad News: Biblical concept of personality development

We get used to the idea that positive changes in a person can happen only as minor modifications, with defects remaining anyway. There are many concepts of personality development (on becoming a person). Almost nobody strives with psychological measures to modify a human being toward being completely good, perfect. However, the Bible suggests this as a valid possibility.

The Holy Scripture sees the process of development, of becoming a person as a restoration (reconstruction, recreation) of perfect human nature, which was lost after the Fall1 or the process of sanctification. For simplicity let us illustrate this process with the means, which Jesus Christ used a lot, a story. This is a theological allegory, “Good and bad news”.

Tom was a terrible criminal. He was proud of not having any conscience, that he had committed every possible crime. Eventually he was caught. He was in prison and was worrying about what would happen next. He was thinking about escaping, even about suicide. But both were impossible. He was too well guarded. He was rehearsing different speeches denying his evil deeds, but none of them sounded persuasive enough. His future seemed absolutely dark. He was aware that he had gotten himself into a desperate situation.

Whom does the Bible consider a law-breaker, a sinner? “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Romans 3:25. It means this message applies to every one of us.

The only thing that prevents reaching perfection and sanctification is sin. What is sin?

Continue reading Good and Bad News: Biblical concept of personality development

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  1. Yancey Ph. Disappointment with God. Three Questions No One Asks Aloud. Harper Collins Publishers, 1988, 319 p. [-]