Monday, July 9, 2012

Compass Therapy and Christian Psychology

All theories of counseling include underlying assumptions and core beliefs about God, human nature, personality, and healthy versus unhealthy behavior. Compass Therapy holds that people are related to the personal, holy, and loving Creator known through the Christian faith.

This does not exclude other perceptions of God or other ways of construing human values within the therapeutic setting. It simply underscores the fact that since cardinal values of Christianity include compassion, empathy for those who suffer, and motivation to heal and transform persons who have lost their ways, Christian psychology offers a viable worldview from which to practice counseling and psychotherapy.

Compass Therapy weds faith and science. The facets of psychology pertinent to the healing of persons include motivation, sensation and perception, learning and memory, personality and social integration, and lifespan development. All are grounded in a God who understands and utilizes counseling and therapy as yet another means of calling people to exercise freedom rightly and benefit from the identity, intimacy, and community he has invited them to know.

From a Christian perspective, Christ embraces people in need, seeking to transform their personal crises through the power of the Holy Spirit present within the alliance of therapist and counselee (Montgomery, 2006, pp. 71-74).

It's as though the Holy Spirit says to any therapist who is open, “Come. Let us work together with your counselee. Let me inspire you with insight and direction to help tame your counselee’s anxiety and heal their pain. Have courage in guiding them to give up the patterns that are defeating them: the manipulations of pleasing, placating, seducing, calculating, controlling, arguing, intimidating, avoiding, or withdrawing. Through a therapeutic bond that draws upon My wisdom, help them find a pathway that leads to flexibility, discerning love, and personal power without guile.”

If your therapeutic experience is anything like mine over the past thirty years, you may have noticed that the Trinity comforts and heals beyond religious category or human constraint, and that the Holy Spirit does indeed enhance your effectiveness as a healer of the soul.