Monday, March 27, 2017

Soul Care

Religious leaders are five times more involved in delivering mental health care than Mental Health Professionals. 

Ministers, Lay and Professional, deliver more care and counsel than all other professions combined. When we add friends, Bible study groups, healing services, church counseling centers, Alcoholics Anonymous and other self-help groups the percentage of influence raises dramatically. 

At least 95% of all emotional support, counseling and therapy in the USA is delivered through religiously oriented individuals and groups.

This certainly shows that the propaganda from anti-Christian groups is bogus. 

One commentator noted that India is the most religious nation on earth and the least is Sweden. It appears that America is a nation filled with Indian citizens but ruled by Swedes.

According to a recent NEWSWEEK poll, 84% of Americans believe God performs miracles today. They also found that 48% have personally experienced or witnessed a miracle. However, many doctors and therapists do not agree with their patients and refuse to accommodate their faith and hope. The lack of support and affirmation causes much unnecessary client pain. Some would say it is malpractice.

Several years ago a psychiatrist friend asked me to see a patient who had been under her care for several years. The diagnosis was depression and delusional ideas. The treatment was medication. 

The patient never improved and kept asking the psychiatrist, a Christian, to discuss her spiritual condition. The patient believed she had committed the “unpardonable sin” and was doomed to hell.  The doctor refused to discuss religion but decided to ask me to help the lady with pastoral care and counseling.

I saw the lady for several months. I  patiently listened to her stories about why she believed God had left her. After some time I asked if I could pray for her.  She agreed to but knew it was hopeless. However, before long the patient began to feel better and after some months of probing and prayer started to consider the possibility that God was still with her.

The client currently takes no anti depression medications and is free from depressive symptoms. She was not delusional but theologically confused. She is now convinced that God loves her. It was a slow but remarkable recovery. 

She will tell you it is the result of prayer. In addition to prayer it was patience, supportive interactions, cognitive interventions including scriptures on the love and grace of God.

This lady has been under psychiatric care since 1955 but did not find any therapist that would take her spiritual concerns seriously until she met with me.  The Medical Model intentionally ignored the patient’s beliefs and convictions. That led her to live in misery for 50 years.  That is medical and psychological malpractice.

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