Integration Of Psychology In Christian Counseling

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Many Christians have questioned how important Integration is in our society. Has it become detrimental to our cultures and churches or is it beneficial? It is important to consider the beginning and advancement of Integration to form a personal position on the matter. Integration is simply the process of integrating or combining into one whole. In the context of psychology, the word refers to the combining of Christianity and psychological studies. It is a stance one takes in trusting in the authority of the Scriptures while observing the way life operates. Stanton L. Jones gives the following definition: …living out-in this particular area- of the lordship of Christ over all of existence by our giving his special revelation-God’s true Word-its …show more content…
Many Christian scientists, authors, philosophers and even preachers throughout the centuries, such as Thomas Reid, Duns Scotus, and John Newton have studied into the findings of psychological advancement of their day. David Powlison however, suggests that using psychology in Christian counseling has had three major waves of growth throughout history. In the fifties and sixties the Christian Association for Psychological Studies was developed and theological seminaries introduced graduate schools for psychology. The next stage of growth toward integration he describes was the reactions to Jay Adam’s book, Competent to Counsel. He argued strongly against using psychotherapy over biblical truths; his critique, however, seemed to enlarge the interest of integration to Christian psychologists. Powlison notes that in the mid-eighties, the controversy over the validity of psychotherapy greatly increased. (Stafford, 1-2) The approach of integration was formally developed in the 1970s, not specifically by a person, but by people, such as counselors, who feared that secularism formed too many components of psychology and recognized the need to incorporate the teachings of the Word of God into their counseling and psychology methods. Since then it has had a major influence on evangelicals. It has become the basis of many counseling programs, books, and organizations. (Jones 10-13, 34-35) …show more content…
The whole motive of integration is very good at its source, for it attempts to use pyschotherapeutic intelligence to better understand and help others. Pyschology, on the other hand, has secular intentions which can influence the purpose and content of using integration. David Powlison gives his thought on the matter: “The net effect in every integrationist’s system is that secular error eats up biblical truth, so that false views of human nature, of Christ and of the change/ counseling process control the system” (Powlison, Critiquing Modern Integrationalists, 2) Psychology itself is not the most reliable study. It cannot agree with the sceintific method because most of its theories are based off of intangible substance, such as emotions and human decisions. It becomes difficut to discover and prove facts, so many studies turn into hypothetical observations. The use of pyschotherapy is very unstable as well. Methods vary from patient to patient which causes inconsistency. Bob and Gretchen Passantino, in their article, Psychology and the Church, compare the compatibility of psychotheraoy and bibclical counseling. The similirity between their goals tends to attract Christians to use forms of psychotherapy. They continue to add though, that psychotherapists have replaced many pastors. The Passantinos quote Goleman saying, “‘…modern doctrine has it

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