Psychology and counsel

Why shouldn’t Christians use methods of men like Freud, Rogers

Integrationists have no difficulty borrowing methods from others. They seem to think that methods are “neutral.” They say such things as “so long as we don’t adopt the philosophies or world-views of unbelievers, what is wrong with using their methods?” But the methods of unbelievers are not neutral; they are contaminated. They have been developed to achieve the ends of systems. These ends (solutions to problems) are not the same as Christian ends. Nor do Christians agree with unbelievers about the nature of counsellee problems.

Consistent thinkers like Skinner and Rogers develop systems embracing methods designed to move counsellees from a problem (as they see it) to a solution (as they see it). But because we can not agree with them about the nature of the problem or the solution, we cannot accept their methodology. If effective at all, it would produce results contrary to those we desire.

Skinner believed man is only an animal to be controlled by reward and aversive control (punishment). He believed that treating him as more than an animal, as a spirit, made in God’s image was the problem. The solution, then was to bring peace and harmony to the world through his reward/punishment system. But we cannot agree with his view that the solution is to control man as an animal. Therefore, we cannot employ methods that were designed to produce that result. We disagree with both his view of man’s problem and his view of the solution to it. His methods, then, will not produce the results that we wish to achieve.

Rogers believed man has the answers in himself, and the problem is that he looks outside of himself to others for those answers. His solution to the problem is to get men to look within. His reflective methodology was designed to produce that effect. By reflecting back to a person what he himself thought (“felt”) about a question, the counsellee would discover from within the best possible answer to it. But because we believe that man does not come prepackaged with the answers to questions, and needs God’s help from the outside, the reflective method is inappropriate to Christian counselling. It fails to lead to Christian ends.

No one else but the consistent Christian sees man’s problems not God’s solutions to them in biblical terms. And, therefore, no one has developed methods that are designed to lead a counsellee from problem A (as the Bible defines it) to solution B (as the Bible defines it). That is why Christians must develop their own methods-those that are so designed.

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