I am studying counseling. I have felt uncomfortable with some therapeutic techniques I’m learning about, but don’t understand precisely what aspects are aligned with truth (accordingly to God’s Word) and Science. Are science and the Word of God conflicting in the theoretical basis behind these techniques? Specifically, I am asking about Emotion Code, Mindfulness, EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing), and meditation. How should a Christian respond to these things?
Thank you for your questions. The following articles pertain to EMDR and meditation. I have yet to find anything on Emotion Code and have not even heard of it until I read your post.
The next article is from a woman with past personal involvement in the occult and meditation. Using scriptures, she explains the differences between meditation from a Christian perspective and that of major world religions.
Hopefully these are helpful in clarifying mentally and spiritually what you sense the Lord is saying to you. Continuing to look for articles relating to the other topics you have mentioned.
Prayers for His wisdom in this situation.
Thank you again for your post and we welcome you to this community! Looking forward to learning from your contributions to Connect.
I see that you are new to RZIM Connect! Welcome to the community! I hope it can be a meaningful experience for you!
Thank you for your questions! If you feel comfortable answering, may I ask what has made you feel uncomfortable? Have you found contradiction or overlap in the theoretical basis behind these techniques and Scripture?
I am currently working as a therapist. I can understand the wrestle you feel in the midst of your studies! I am also not familiar with Emotion Code, but I will do some research and get back to you. As I was studying, I engaged with these questions too. I found that studying the topic of integration of psychology and theology to be extremely beneficial. I came to find there is a range of beliefs regarding integrative theory and practice. Studying the various schools of thought helped me identify where my convictions and beliefs fell as I hold fast to the Scriptures and utilize the wisdom of psychology and science. A book I found extremely helpful was Psychology and Christianity: Five Views (Spectrum Multiview Books)
In this book, 5 major views of integration are shared. Not only do the authors write on their own research and views, but they provide feedback to each other, creating a respectful and thoughtful dialogue.
Questions that have been helpful for me to consider are: What is the intended outcome of this technique? Is there a way that I or my clients could practice this in a way that aligns with the truth of Scripture? I do believe that God’s intention for us and for those we minister to is healing and wholeness. Psychology and science has enabled us to understand much more about the human brain, development, relationships, trauma, etc. As a mental health professional you will find there are various ways and techniques that have been developed for healing to be attained. You can have the freedom to explore which ones resonate with you and that you want to invite into your work. I find that to be the beauty of integration. At the end of the day, however, I am grateful that we serve a God who is Peace, Truth, a Healer, Advocate, Counselor, and Redeemer.
I have a friend who wrote a blog post entitled Answering 9 Christian Objections to Mindfulness. I found it to be a well thought out post and it may be helpful to you!
@MaryBeth1 Thank you for those resources you shared! So helpful in the conversation!
@Anna_Holbrook I have no expertise or further resources to offer that would add much to the above. I just have my layman’s perspective.
I remember being asked by a friend many years ago what I thought of biofeedback. She was suffering an ailment and her physician suggested it as part of her treatment regimen. She was uncomfortable with it because she had trouble fitting it into her Christian worldview. I told her that it is only a form of training to control certain body functions, like heart rate. (I am relieved to learn that the Mayo Clinic confirms now what I believed back then based on my own experience slowing my heart rate by concentrating on it.)
I think that we may safely be open to just about any treatment model as long as it does not create an idol. God created everything, after all; why not explore ways that we can use what he created for our benefit as long as it does not replace him in our hearts?
It stands to reason, however, that we should not do anything that would cause us to be embarrassed before the Throne. Each one of us is different. Some may feel okay with a technique, while others may not. We should listen to our consciences without judging others who may disagree with us.