Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An overview of psychotherapists and their "self-made religions."

**Please take note of my last post in attempt to clear things up a bit.*

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, and according to elementary principles of this world, rather than according to Christ...These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self made religion...but are of no value against fleshly indulgences.  {Colossians 2:8. 23}

"The word psychotherapy comes from the ancient Greek words psychÄ“, meaning breath, spirit, or soul and therapeia or therapeuein, to nurse or cure.  Its use was first noted around 1890. It is defined as the relief of distress or disability in one person by another, using an approach based on a particular theory or paradigm, and that the agent performing the therapy has had some form of training in delivering this...Its purpose serves to increase the patient’s sense of self-esteem and well-being. Techniques of  psychotherapy are based on experimental relationship building, dialogue and behavioral change {Wikpedia}."

*Scripture refutes the very definition of psychotherapy, to increase self esteem and well being in Romans 7:18 , "for I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh {self}.*

Psychotherapy began with the practice of psychoanalysis, the "talking cure" developed by Sigmund Frued.
Freud is considered one of the most prominent thinkers of the first half of the 20th century, in terms of originality and intellectual influence.  "Notwithstanding the multiple manifestations of psychoanalysis as it exists today, it can in almost all fundamental respects be traced directly back to Freud’s original work. Further, Freud’s innovative treatment of human actions, dreams...." {}
Freud began using what he called the "talking cure" and the ultimate goal of this talking was to locate and release powerful emotional energy that had initially been rejected or imprisoned in the unconscious mind. Freud called this denial of emotions "repression", and he believed that it was an impediment to the normal functioning of the psyche, even capable of causing physical retardation which he described as "psychosomatic
In his 40s, Freud "had numerous psychosomatic disorders as well as exaggerated fears of dying and other phobias" (Corey 2001, p. 67). In that time, Freud was exploring his own dreams, memories, and the dynamics of his personality development.

Freud's theories and research methods have always been controversial. He and psychoanalysis have been criticized in very extreme terms. For an often-quoted example, Peter Medawar, a Nobel Prize winning immunologist, said in 1975 that psychoanalysis is the "most stupendous intellectual confidence trick of the twentieth century". {Wikpedia}
*Scripture refutes Freud's theory of a hidden, powerful emotional energy in Colossians 1:11 when it says that we as believers are to be strengthened in His {the Lord's} power, according to His glorious might."* 
Aaron T Beck:--disagreed with Freud and developed what is known as cognitive therapy.  Cognitive behavioral therapy (or cognitive behavioral therapies or CBT) is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure {Wikpedia}."

"Beck states, "the unconscious does not play the role that Freud proposed". One of Beck's favorite statements is "there's more to the surface than meets the eye." The cognitive method involves a person using rational thoughts to overcome fears rather than delving into the unconscious causes of those fears. In cognitive therapy the fears of the client are carefully examined and confronted rationally."

*Scripture refutes Beck's theory of using rational thoughts to overcome fear in 2 Timothy 1:7, "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and a sound mind."
Carl Rogers pioneered the move away from traditional psychoanalysis, and developed client-centered psychotherapy, which recognizes that “each client has within him or herself the vast resources for self-understanding, for altering his or her self-concept, attitudes, and self-directed behavior—and that these resources can be tapped by providing a definable climate of facilitative attitudes.”

"Not in common with Freud, however, is the fact that Rogers sees people as basically good or healthy -- or at very least, not bad or ill.  In other words, he sees mental health as the normal progression of life, and he sees mental illness, criminality, and other human problems, as distortions of that natural tendency."
"Rogers captures with this single great need or motive all the other motives that other theorists talk about.  He asks us, why do we want air and water and food?  Why do we seek safety, love, and a sense of competence?  Why, indeed, do we seek to discover new medicines, invent new power sources, or create new works of art?  Because, he answers, it is in our nature as living things to do the very best we can!
It is worthy to note that while on a trip to China, Roger's had a "new experience" that so broadened his thinking that he began to doubt some of his basic religious views. 
And after taking a course concerning the ministry, Roger's states that many of the students, including himself, “thought their way right out of religious work.”

Someone once said this of Roger's, "Religion’s loss was, of course, psychology’s gain" 
*Scripture refutes Roger's theory of self being good in Romans 3:12, "there is no one good, not even one."
Mary Ainsworth was born in Glendale Ohio. When she was 15, she read William McDougall's book Character and the Conduct of Life, which inspired her lifelong interest in psychology (O'Connell, 1983)." 
I found an excerpt from this book, Character and the Conduct and Life,
"This book is directed to men and woman of goodwill who are not completely satisfied with themselves who believe that by taking thought, they may add, however little, to their moral stature and to their efficiency in working towards whatever goals they have adapted.... "
Ainsworth and her husband divorced in 1960, and this was very painful for Mary (O'Connell, 1983). According to O'Connell, she became depressed and sought psychoanalytic therapy. This type of therapy was a great influence on her career. She became very interested in the psychoanalytic literature, especially Freud. {}
"Mary Ainsworth's work research on attachment has played an important role in our understanding of child development. While her work is not without its own controversies, such the extent to which early attachment styles contribute to later behavior, her observations have inspired an enormous body of research on the early childhood attachment." 

Attempts to replicate her link between response to early crying and later attachment have met with mixed success, and there is much debate about the origins of children's reactions in the "Strange Situation."
Although Ainsworth observed and came to a probable theory concerning attachment, she was still heavily influenced by Freud and the the works of McDougall--both of hum leaned upon humanism and psychoanalysis.

*Scripture refutes Ainsworth theory and beliefs in that by taking thought one has the ability to add to his/her moral stature in 2 Corinthians 10:5, "we destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of Christ...and take every thought captive to obey Christ."*

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