Thursday, May 5, 2011

Integration: The Battle between Psychology and Christianity

The counseling program we are enrolled in is integrative, having roots in both psychology and Christianity. Many of the books that we have read this semester have stemmed from combining aspects of psychology and Christianity together. Integration of psychology and Christianity has been debatable by some and admirable by others. There are some aspects of psychology such as techniques, goals, and research that are beneficial to a client in the counseling process that Christianity does not specify. Psychology can benefit the counseling process in several ways.
In talking with one of my dear friends yesterday, she had become frustrated between the whole debate between psychology and Christianity. Her philosophy was that if she couldn't openly tell people about Christ, then she didn't want some man made standard of ethics to contain her. Psychology has many positive aspects of Christianity entangled in it. Yet, it is still giving the credit to man, not Christ. Her view point confused and intrigued me. She has been trained in psychology and knew the positive effect that psychology can have on mental health. However, she couldn't pursue psychology anymore at the time. She had to give credit where credit was due. It then really got me to think. Yes, I can incorporate Biblical principles with future clients. However, when people are at their most desperate times, what do I do when I can't freely share the gospel of Christ due to the setting that I am working?
I don't know my stance. I have been wrestling with the thought all morning. Because I am a student, I have not yet been in a counseling situation in which I have felt that I have had to compromise my commitment to Christ of sharing to gospel to the ethical standards of psychology. I want to help people while following Christ. I'm still not sure what that looks like, what setting that may be, or what philosophy will be used in counseling. I'm thankful that this class and other people have made me take a deep look at what really matters while I am still learning on this journey.

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