I've Often Wondered....
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
19-09-2011, 12:29 PM
I've Often Wondered....
Is there such a thing as a Christian Psychotherapist? If so how do they handle the patients they must help who claim to hear the voice of God?

How does it work mentally? To accept the words of the bible as truth one must accept that people in the past have heard God speak to them. So How would a psychotherapist or even a standard therapist deal with this? How do they so casually rule out actual holy intervention and be comfortable writing them off?

It would seem to me that if you allow one crazy scenario to be told as true then you must use the same amount of critical thinking on every other scenario. That is how I work essentially. I am skeptical of everything, therefor I am skeptical of everything. So if you read the bible and believe it to be truth and actual historical account then shouldn't you look at someone who says they hear god and actually think it is possible?

I've never heard of this coming up, but if anyone else has heard of this strange division of reality please let me know what you know. Or link me.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-09-2011, 12:51 PM
RE: I've Often Wondered....
Most likely even a Christian psychotherapist or psychiatrist would write a prescription that helps the person stop hearing voices in their head, or get them to understand that the "voices" they hear are of their own creation. Just as the Catholic Church tends to dismiss or ignore "miracle" claims, rather than jump and yell "See! There IS a God!". The guys at the top know the miracle claims are usually hoaxes, or caused by some natural phenomenon, and even if they can't be disproved right now, they probably will be eventually, so they refuse to endorse them. I think any religious doctor would be hard pressed to support a delusional person's belief that they are in communication with God (unless that doctor was also so deluded that his medical training gets tossed out the window at the first opportunity). It seems to me that the vast majority of religious people are only religious in words, and not in deeds, except perhaps on Sunday morning when they go to Church (if they go- most of them don't). Which is a good thing when it comes to scientists, researchers, psychotherapists, teachers, etc. That's not to say we should coddle the religious in their faith, because it does have some impact on their decision-making, and often leads to them voting for people like George Bush or Rick Perry on religious grounds such as pro-life and all that "family values" crap they spout.

The way to see by Faith, is to shut the eye of Reason. - Ben Franklin
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-09-2011, 01:46 PM
RE: I've Often Wondered....
From my experience (opinion) there are very, very few Christians who actually hear a voice. Most of those who say they do are lying even lying to themselves. Christians are to listen for the "still small voice" which is as ambiguous as you would expect from any holy book. Individuals interpret that to mean anything they want it to mean. Many times they believe that in prayer and meditation with god that whatever comes to mind at that point is the thing to act upon. Others believe that whatever they act upon in faith will be used of god period, just because they believe, or that it will happen IF they believe hard enough. The out for them is that if it does not come to pass, then they either didn't believe enough or some "oppression" was getting in the way or ????. Some Christians actually have enough humility to say they must have made a mistake. It just depends on their "tribe".

Christian therapists? They exist, but then there are many fundies that toss out those who profess to be such because it's not trusting in god enough or their pastor.

Who can turn skies back and begin again?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-09-2011, 04:55 PM
RE: I've Often Wondered....
In my Orthodox parish, our priests would encourage anyone to seek medical help in addition to spiritual guidance because they fully believed that mental illness was a legitimate medical issue. They even admitted that most of the time hearing voices, demon posession, and seeing visions were symptoms of a medical problem...not a spiritual problem. When I was dealing with depression, my priest encouraged me to see a therapist. He encouraged seeing a Christian one, but he supported me in seeing non Christian ones.

This, to me, having come from a fundy evangelical background, felt wrong in some ways because, as an evangelical, most pyschological problems came from not having enough faith. Or they were a direct result of having done something so heinous as to have brought it upon yourself. Consulting a medical professional was akin to back sliding and admitting your lack of faith in god.

Back to my Orthodox days, I was actually referred to a therapist who was also Orthodox, and he seemed very practical. We didn't even talk about god or faith. On the flip side, I've talked to family members who have seen evangelical Christian therapists, and some of the stuff the family members brought out of it...was crazy and made things worse.

Made me have the same questions as you...

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-09-2011, 09:24 AM
RE: I've Often Wondered....
(19-09-2011 12:29 PM)lucradis Wrote:  How does it work mentally? To accept the words of the bible as truth one must accept that people in the past have heard God speak to them. So How would a psychotherapist or even a standard therapist deal with this? How do they so casually rule out actual holy intervention and be comfortable writing them off?

The Bible contains a lot of information about how to tell if a person is really speaking for God. Anyone who knows what the Bible teaches can soon tell the difference between a true prophet of God and someone who is delusional.

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-09-2011, 09:37 AM
RE: I've Often Wondered....
(20-09-2011 09:24 AM)theophilus Wrote:  
(19-09-2011 12:29 PM)lucradis Wrote:  How does it work mentally? To accept the words of the bible as truth one must accept that people in the past have heard God speak to them. So How would a psychotherapist or even a standard therapist deal with this? How do they so casually rule out actual holy intervention and be comfortable writing them off?

The Bible contains a lot of information about how to tell if a person is really speaking for God. Anyone who knows what the Bible teaches can soon tell the difference between a true prophet of God and someone who is delusional.

This seems to suggest that it would be subjective to the interpretation of the counselor or therapist. People pull different meanings out of the same story, so there is no set in stone method. How does one counselor of one faith interpret what a patient of another faith is saying? Does it not seem more conceivable (and much simpler) for these to all be symptoms of mental anguish, mental disorder and/or addiction? As opposed to the opposing argument that the above apply plus some who can talk to a higher power that no normal person can and which the counselor/therapist can't prove? The counselor may say that they believe that the patient believes they are talking to god, but that does not equal actually talking to a god(s).

My wife received her masters in mental health counseling from a christian college. I could ask her, but she thinks that diagnosing someone as possessed by demons is erroneous and that people don't talk to god. Well, for the most part anyway. She claims to still believe in demons and she obviously believes in god, but she does not base any of her counseling on those assumptions.

Some counselors do of course, and claim that someone may be possessed by demons, I never hear of very many people going to counseling of their own accord who claim to talk to god. My mother-in-law is an evangelical christian and believes people are possessed by demons sometimes. The interesting thing is that if there is anyone in our family that needs counseling, it's her. And she would claim to be the most godly and the one who is the most in touch with Jesus.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-09-2011, 09:37 AM
RE: I've Often Wondered....
Such as? I've read the bible old and new and don't recall any passages. Not to say they don't exist I probably don't remember them is all, but you've got me curious.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-09-2011, 09:50 AM
RE: I've Often Wondered....
(20-09-2011 09:37 AM)lucradis Wrote:  Such as? I've read the bible old and new and don't recall any passages. Not to say they don't exist I probably don't remember them is all, but you've got me curious.

Chapters 13 and 18 of Deuteronomy tell how to detect two kinds of false prophets. In addition, any teaching that claims to be from God should be tested by finding out whether or not it agrees with what God has already revealed through the Bible. One example of this is found in Acts 17:10,11, which show the response when Paul and Silas preached the gospel in Berea.

Quote:The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

The information in ancient libraries came from real minds of real people. The far more complex information in cells came from the far more intelligent mind of God.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-09-2011, 09:50 AM
RE: I've Often Wondered....
(20-09-2011 09:24 AM)theophilus Wrote:  The Bible contains a lot of information about how to tell if a person is really speaking for God.

That's a good start.....

Quote:Anyone who knows what the Bible teaches can soon tell the difference between a true prophet of God and someone who is delusional.

Anyone? who knows? can soon tell? a true prophet?

That's arrogant, self righteous and very condescending. If you want to be Christ like, you had better start over.

Who can turn skies back and begin again?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-09-2011, 05:49 PM
RE: I've Often Wondered....
Ok re read selected passages. You were right Theo, they do have a fairly vague guide as to how to detect the difference between someone who actually hears god and someone who doesn't. Pretty much if the guy or gal says anything along the lines of "let's forget this shit and do something else" or "The god I hear says something contrary to what is written already". Which counts Jesus in.

Anyways I also like how it goes on to detail how to deal with one of these false prophets... Kill them. And kill em good. Good old God. So ready to dish out kill orders isn't he?

But that's another topic altogether. I'm more interested in the mental deconstruction that must take place in the heads of someone who allows one psychotic action to be deemed true without any evidence but not another similar. It's fucking interesting. It's almost like someone saying that Star Trek is a good show but you don't like farscape because it's sci fi. My brain has such a hard time trying to understanding the mental gymnastics someone would have to pull off just to make sense of their own lives.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: