I shouldn't be shocked but I am. I really didn't think Christian psychologists would really follow their secular counterparts this far.
Almost every friend I have that has visited a Christian psychologist in the past 10 years has been told basically the same thing:
You have a chemical imbalance in the brain; you need anti-depressants (i.e. Prozac, Zoloft, Lithium).
I would love to ask these pychologists for proof of this so-called chemical imbalance. I would also love to ask them what they think will happen down the road after their clients have taken these pills for many years. Do they think there might be health problems? Have they read the research that has been around for at least a decade showing that 7% of the ADULT population who are on these drugs either attempt or actually do commit suicide? In addition some become violent. Can they reassure us that long term usage will not cause cancer, heart, liver, kidney problems or other terrible diseases?
Hello? Are there any responsible Chrsitian psychologists out there?
I wish they all would read a book by Dr. Peter R. Breggin entitled: Talking Back to Prozac. There are others coming forth saying the same things (although some refute it such as Peter Kramer's book). But from what I am reading from some psychiatrists such as David Healy (Let Them Eat Prozac), the psychiatric community has known for some time that this chemical imbalance stuff is simply a weak theory. Yet, our Christian psychologists are presenting it as absolute fact!
All I want is our Christian professionals to be truthful and know what they are doing before they fool arouhd with our lives. As I posted yesterday, using the power of God, the gifts of the Spirit, Biblical teaching and the gifts in Romans 12:6-8, we should be able to help most people enough to keep them off of at least long term anti-depressant use. But, to saddle one person (the psychologist) with this task is ludicrous. The church as a whole needs to change their counseling-prayer approach. Here is one approach that I have cobbled out in the past decade...but there are of course other avenues that churches can take.
OK..that said..here is my fantasy church counseling-prayer plan, no matter how small or large the church.
In every church you will have people with the 7 gifts listed in Romans 12:6-8 (administration, prophecy, teaching, exhortation, giving, helps, mercy). By the way, notice that I listed them almost in the same order as in the Romans passage. Take the first one (adminitration or governments as it is often called)and note that it is the strongest personality-type. Take the last one (mercy) and note it is the softest personality-type. The others fall in-between in the listed order with exhortation being squarely in the middle, an equal balance of strong and soft.
You will also find people with one or more of the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in I Corintians 12:8-10.
Now find the most mature people who understand how to function in their gifts humbly. Make sure they aren't flirting around with New Age/occultic spirits becaues a lot of these people who are dying to pray/counsel do have that problem. In other words, they wish to gain control over people.
Have a prayer group of around 7 people or so. Usually there are 3 but that isn't enough. You need more so there will be more gifts and viewpoints operating.
People are prayed for more than once..as long as it takes--and THEN they are followed up to see if prayers have been answered. I personally feel it is good and also safe to have a GOOD psychologist in each group if you can find that many. If there are still problems, then refer that person to the heavy hitter discerners-pray-ers. Some of these people will need psychological help FOR A WHILE. But ten years? I am not talking about psychotic people here. If you have one of those then of course heavy-hitting prayer groups need to work in tandem with a psychiatrist. In almost every church prayer group there is a dearth of follow up. The attitude seems to be, "Well, we prayed and that's that...good luck."
But IMO that is no longer acceptable.No wonder people flee to psychologists.
In fact most people I have known who have gone to Christian psychologists (everyone here in S. California goes to a psychologist..LOL) are not being supported at church. In other words, they have no other place to go. The church gives up on them too soon without really trying much of anything and then "refers" them to a Chrisitan psychologist.
The churches must do better....they really do.
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