Søren Kierkegaard was a philosopher who contributed profound theoretical psychological works. Over a decade, he described the nature of personhood, sin, anxiety, the unconscious (before Freud), subjectivity, human development, and spiritual development from a Christian perspective. Kierkegaard is considered a “father” to therapeutic psychology. Erikson, who studied under Anna Freud, further said Kierkegaard, not Sigmund Freud, was the first genuine psychoanalyst. Christian counseling is a manner of psychological therapy that emphasizes the importance of a person’s relationship with God. Christian counseling utilizes the ideas of Christian psychology to properly understand and treat patients. Both Christian psychology and Christian counseling help people understand the self psychologically and in the eyes of God. This specific form of counseling incorporates a person’s unique religious views to create a more individualized form of treatment. Freud saw the younger Jung as the heir he sought to take forward his “new science.”
However, Carl Jung research and personal vision made it impossible for him to follow his older colleague’s doctrine, and a schism became inevitable. This division was personally painful for Jung and resulted in establishing Jung’s analytical psychology as a comprehensive system separate from psychoanalysis. Jung de-emphasized the importance of sexual development and focused on the collective unconscious: the part of the unconscious that contains memories and ideas that Jung believed were inherited from ancestors. While he did think that libido was an important source for personal growth, unlike Freud, Jung did not believe that libido alone was responsible for forming the core personality.
Many Christian counselors and pastors will often ask their members to seek out Christian counseling. There are many different approaches to Christian counseling and what such counseling look like. In order to get a better understanding of Christian counseling is essential to see what such an approach to counseling offers. A counselor who identifies with being a Christian counselor must provide Biblical interpretation with the psychological approach. With this approach, the person seeking counseling will be comfortable knowing their counselor shares in their faith, seeking such faith as a means of treatment. Whether or not if someone identifies themselves as Christian counseling, they should be respectful of one’s spiritual beliefs. The counselor who claims to provide a Biblical approach in their treatment must understand where the person is coming from. Is their suffering caused by bypassed sin or a traumatic event of the past! Such intervention provides the counselor with a well-grounded and predominates understanding, which to apply sufficient Biblical advice to guide the counselor in treating a person.
Some Christian counselors may look at suffering from mental illness as sin, but that is the wrong approach caused by events in one’s life. The Bible is all about healing and if we only tap into it we can find great resources in dealing with mental illness.
Article Submitted by:
Rev. Darren LaBrecque