Psychology is a mixture of science and philosophy. One function of psychology is theory construction. Psychology attempts to formulate theory to explain man’s behavior, his nature, and how he lives, changes, and develops disorder. This is an area of psychology that clearly overlaps the field of theology. It is in this area that psychology most displays its inadequacy. Traditional psychology is a science that is desperately looking for a world view, while actively rejecting the Christian world view. Psychology attempts to construct a secular religion defining the nature of man.
It is our view that only the bible holds the answers to the true essence of who man is, his needs, what is truth, what is moral, and what is right. It is the bible alone that holds the answers to man’s deepest needs. It is only in the bible that we find that the nature of man is sinful and that man has a God-shaped vacuum within. It is only in the bible that we learn of man’s need for God, and that abundant and eternal life can only be achieved through reconciliation with God. It is only in the bible that it is revealed that Jesus Christ is the answer to man’s sin problem, and that his sins can be forgiven only through the acceptance of Jesus Christ’s provision of salvation and eternal life. Following the acceptance of Jesus Christ, grace transforms the Christian into a new creature. Day by day throughout the rest of the believer’s life, God gradually transforms that person into the image of Jesus Christ. It is the scripture alone that offers answers to problems such as guilt, our need to be forgiven and our need to forgive others, and it is only the bible that gives us guidance about our priorities, and what is a healthy lifestyle.
Psychology at the end of the twentieth century has endorsed the philosophy of post-modernism. The post-modernist perspective suggests that there is no such thing as absolute truth. Everything is relative. What is true and right can only be determined in a particular context and circumstance. The field of psychology has also embraced pluralism, holding that society is a mixture of distinct ethnic religious and cultural groups, and that we are to live in harmony and give up notions that would separate us. Both pluralism and post-modernism hold that no single philosophical system or world view holds the answers to the complex questions and nature of our social and physical world. We believe that post-modernism is in direct conflict with a biblical Christian world view. Psychology alone does not hold the answers to men’s purpose and is not the answer to mans moral dilemmas. Post-modern psychology is a dangerous philosophy on a collision course with Biblical Christianity.
The science of psychology is the more useful part of psychology for Christians. The scientific study and systematic observation of human behavior has produced vast knowledge about man’s problems, what factors contribute to such problems, and strategies for helping individuals overcome them. It is this aspect of psychology that we embrace. In all cases, we filter psychological information through the grid of scriptural truth. What fits consistently with the scripture is useful, and anything that conflicts in any way is discarded. Psychology has given us great insight into such subjects as the nature, causes, and treatment of depression. Psychology and psychiatry have also assisted us greatly in distinguishing which disorders may have a more psychological root and which may have a more biological root cause.
One feature that is unique about Christian Family Institute is that we integrate a family systems perspective on counseling. A family systems perspective is always sensitive to the individuals who may seek counseling, but also considers the impact that counseling may have on our client’s relationships. Our family relationships are our most important resources, therefore Christian Family Institute is committed to helping people make their relationships healthier.
Systems theory is a way of viewing and thinking about interrelated systems and sub-systems. An example is that the human body is a system made up of sub-systems such as the respiratory system, the circulatory system, the neurological system, etc. This individual is also a part of larger systems such as the nuclear family, the extended family, the church, the community, the work organization, etc. Each system is made up of smaller sub-systems, and each system is a sub-system of a larger system.
Individual behavior cannot be understood without understanding the various systems and sub-systems the individual is part of. Spiritual, psychological, biological, and social systems are at work, and each has an effect the other. Effective counseling begins with listening and gathering information about all of these related systems. The effective counselor must develop skills in formulating spiritual, psychological, and family assessments.
The Christian Family Institute Model is also a problem-solving and solution-focused model. That means that we work collaboratively with the client to establish clear and specific treatment goals and treatment plans. We do not impose our plans on people’s lives.
The Context of Christian Counseling. Christian counseling practice varies according to the context in which it is practiced. If a person comes to their pastor in the church, they usually expect that the focus of that counseling will be spiritual and that the Bible will be employed as the central resource. The focus on spiritual issues is implicit in the context. When clients come to a Christian who is also a licensed mental health professional in a counseling center, the expectations and context are less clear. The Christian who is also a mental health professional possesses a number of tools and competencies which may be employed as is appropriate to the situation and expectations of the client. Even in a Christian counseling center such as Christian Family Institute, the clients come with very divergent expectations. Some come expecting pastoral counseling similar to what they would experience if they went to their local church. Others come to see a professional regardless of their faith perspective. A small portion of clients are actually hostile to faith and defiantly dare the counselor to speak of faith. The counselor in this context must carefully attempt to assess the motives and expectations of each client. This is made particularly difficult if clients are not clear themselves.
How to Contact Us:
You may contact us by telephone or e-mail. Our office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Evening counseling appointments are available on a limited basis by request.
Autumn Oaks Building – 71st and Canton/ 6846 South Canton, Suite 501/ Tulsa,Oklahoma 74136