The dictionary defines counseling as the active exchange of opinions or ideas, or the process of advising or giving guidance solicited from a knowledgeable person. The field of counseling today has a very mixed history. Counseling has been taking place for thousands of years. We know in ancient times from biblical history counseling was conducted by spiritual and religious leaders. Christian churches practiced what we came to call counseling. The bible teaches us to “admonish the unruly, encourage the timid, help the weak, and be patient with all men” (I Thessalonians 5:14). This is not only counseling, it is what we now call “differential therapeutics,” or applying specific treatment following an accurate and careful diagnosis.
The scientific community of psychologists and psychiatrists has been writing about counseling and psychotherapy since the late 1800’s. Much of the field of secular psychology and psychiatry dates back to the early writings of Sigmund Freud. Freud was clearly antagonistic toward religious faith, and did not hold to a world view that was compatible with the gospels. Freud went so far as to say that religion was the “universal obsessional neurosis.” Since Freud’s writings, the Christian church has struggled with how to approach the field of psychology and psychiatry.
A variety of approaches have developed as Christians wrestle with whether or not psychology and Christian faith are compatible with one another. Worthington (1991) suggested that there were four possible positions that counselors might take regarding the integration of counseling.
The first category he calls “across the gap.” In this approach therapists who do not value religious faith choose to ignore it, and see the religious faith as harmful to clients.
The second position is the “collaborative approach.” In this approach therapists who are not personally religious are committed to respecting religious faith and values in their clients.
The third position represents those who are religious and have a faith orientation but who have been trained in secular approaches and were taught that dealing with religious issues were irrelevant or inappropriate in counseling.
The fourth position is the “conjoint” position in which therapist who personally hold to a religious value system are committed to dealing with the religious commitment and spiritual issues of their clients.
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