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The Rise of Biblical Counseling - Kathryn Joyce


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Kathryn Joyce (books: Child Catchers, Quiverfull) has a new article out in Pacific Standard magazine on the issues with treating issues with 'biblical counseling.' It starts out pretty tough, suicide trigger warning.

psmag.com/navigation/health-and-behavior/evangelical-prayer-bible-religion-born-again-christianity-rise-biblical-counseling-89464/

"In biblical counseling, most psychological distress is rooted in sin, and the path to healing lies in confession and repentance."

"No confidentiality is assumed, and counselors are often committed to working with the clients’ pastors and church leaders."

"It sounds like tough love, but the difference, says Arms, is that biblical counselors believe the Holy Spirit will bring about change—a conviction he expects will sound strange to secular ears."

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I'm a psychologist and this is horrifying. Nowhere near therapy - just a neat combo of guilt, propaganda and control.

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BabyFullOfSin, I'm a psychologist too... The likelihood of harm here is overwhelming.

Psychologist here, I totally agree with my colleagues!!

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The Bible is a man-made book. Ridiculous. Sorry for the people sucked in by this garbage.

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Most of these counselors don't even have degrees. My BIL once got counseling through his church for an addiction. Counselor never even went to college. I think she did more harm than good.

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I went through biblical counseling. I don't want to talk about it, but I will say this: it was made clear that confidentially was expected. In fact, that is why I went to biblical counseling; no other therapist would give me a straight answer on confidentially. But the biblical counselor trusted me when I said my parents finding out would be a bad thing.

So, it might be different for other people but for many other people I know the counseling we received WAS confidential, unless we told her we were planning to kill ourself.

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I wish the mainstream media would take notice of this. It's such an important topic and needs attention. But our corporate-owned media (not liberal at all) is too busy kissing Duggar family ass and treating Phil Robertson like some foreign policy expert.

Eeesh, I'm in a mood today. Sorry.

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Every helping profession has limits to confidentiality, many of which are dictated by the state and/or country you're practicing in.

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“Biblical counseling is really not designed to handle big-ticket items.â€
Exactly. It is possible some smaller stuff can be handled by the church as well as by a psychologist (sort of like going to an acupuncturist for stress relief) but there needs to be an understanding of what has to be referred out.
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I thought that the phrase "big ticket items" applied to items such as cars or appliances, not mental health. :x :x :wtf: :wtf: :angry-banghead: :angry-banghead:

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There is so much potential for 'councellors' to just tell clients they need to just apply more Jesus to fix their problems.

That's pretty much it, along with an intense dose of shame and guilt over whatever sin/s resulted in whatever mental illness consequence you're dealing with.

I had someone recommend "biblical counseling" for my depressed, suicidal-thoughts-having 12-y-o a couple of months ago. I elected to go with the trained professional. :evil-eye:

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I thought that the phrase "big ticket items" applied to items such as cars or appliances, not mental health. :x :x :wtf: :wtf: :angry-banghead: :angry-banghead:
Whoa! Here is the full quote:

Often, the stories of failure concern counselors who are simply in over their heads—overly confident of scripture as a handbook and high-handed about applying it to complex cases. One woman, a 49-year-old Maryland public school teacher, told me about efforts by her church to apply biblical counseling to the problems of a volatile husband and a son on the autism spectrum. It was a disaster, she says, with counselors trying in vain to improve her husband’s behavior and asking her to seek out idols within her own heart. “They thought they could send someone to a six-week training with a white binder and that they’d be prepared to do counseling for people who are suicidal, anorexic, who are struggling with pedophilia,†she recalled. “Biblical counseling is really not designed to handle big-ticket items.â€

I think there is a place for peer to peer counseling for people to use for minor issues (sort of like having BlueCross approve accupuncture and massage for stress relief). The problem is fundies will not take the next step. Nor will naturopath following folks.

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Remember, Lori Alexander is apparently counseling/mentoring women assigned to her from her church in regard to their unhappy marriages.

Wouldn't she be helpful?

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Remember, Lori Alexander is apparently counseling/mentoring women assigned to her from her church in regard to their unhappy marriages.

Wouldn't she be helpful?

#15minutesandlube

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My dumbass sister-in-law briefly advertised her services as a "counselor". Once it hit a newspaper website, it was rather abruptly changed to "relationship and life awareness consultations".

Her qualifications according to her business website: yoga teacher certification, life experience, a bachelor's degree and an extensive background in customer service training and neuroscience.

Translation:

Yoga teacher certification = almost finished but decided it was too time consuming and traded other goods for the certificate (don't trust those YA certifications, people, they mean nothing).

Life experience= three broken engagements and too many dysfunctional relationships in between to count. If you need to know how to transition from dating a 70 yr old to dating a 23 year old, she's got your back.

Bachelor's degree= in English Literature.

Customer Service Training = less than one year of employment as a call rep for an insurance company.

Neuroscience = An 8 hour yoga workshop that purports to use "neuroscience" to treat and cure cancer and heart disease.

Point: the liberal left has its fair share of hucksters engaging in medical and psychological care that they have no business attempting to provide.

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Yeah, a friend of mine gave me this book as a bridal party gift when I was a bridesmaid in her wedding:

http://www.bcfministries.org/matls-01sc.html

I worked about halfway through it back when I was still lured by the fundie-promise. It is like falling down the rabbit hole - every mental health problem can be defined as a "life-dominating sin." So, for me, an anxiety disorder became fear, a sinful lack of faith. The cure? Looking up and memorizing tons of Bible verses related to fear. Reminding myself of my depravity. And confessing the life-dominating sin.

Ditto with depression, obsessive thinking, and other disorders.

The idea behind is that the potential counselor goes through the program herself and then is prepared to counsel others.

Having since gone through several years of sanity-saving therapy with an excellent qualified therapist, I can say with confidence that all this kind of nouthetic counseling does is further cement the codependence rampant in fundie circles. So disheartening to think this is the only option available for people struggling, and it does more harm than good - not to mention the bad theology. You often have to twist verse in hermeneutical knots to get something written to a church gathering in first century Philippi apply to the stay-at-home suburban wife struggling with anxiety.

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The 4littleferguson's blogger credits "Christian counseling" with the miraculous nine month recovery of her marriage from infidelity.

I've seen and heard a LOT of people in Christian circles who flat-out reject normal therapy but think "Christian counseling" is the only acceptable and superior option for all of what ails you.

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Every helping profession has limits to confidentiality, many of which are dictated by the state and/or country you're practicing in.

Particularly in your case Trynn, where I'm assuming that you were a minor? There are legal ramifications to consider in those circumstances when bound by a code of ethics and governing body (ie, when one is a registered professional - psychologist, social worker etc.)

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The 4littleferguson's blogger credits "Christian counseling" with the miraculous nine month recovery of her marriage from infidelity.

I've seen and heard a LOT of people in Christian circles who flat-out reject normal therapy but think "Christian counseling" is the only acceptable and superior option for all of what ails you.

Translation: The "counselor" convinced the wife that she is just as much a sinner as her cheating husband, and thus has no moral right to anger bitterness. With a healthy dose of, "If you respect him properly, he will be able to love you."

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Translation: The "counselor" convinced the wife that she is just as much a sinner as her cheating husband, and thus has no moral right to anger bitterness. With a healthy dose of, "If you respect him properly, he will be able to love you."

so damaging. That breaks my heart for her if she did have to hear that advice. No wonder she's hiding behind a facade of "everything is perfect now".
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