"For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding" -Proverbs 2:6
To properly answer this question, we must understand who God is and the reason for why He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus. The Word of God tells us in the book of John, chapter 10 that Jesus came to give us life and life in abundance. But what does it mean to live abundantly? Living abundantly can be described as living a rich life, a WHOLE and COMPLETE life, lacking nothing. Still, how can we do this in a "fallen world" where sometimes our own trauma keeps us from accepting the Love of God? Or how can we accept the truth of being image bearers, sons, and daughters of a King, made with purpose, when our experiences have taught us otherwise? When sometimes it feels as though our own bodies betray us, how can we feel rich and complete?
Being Christian does not exempt us from such feelings, in many ways it can make it worse because of our narrow perspective of God and His involvement in our lives. God wants us to be healthy mind, body, and spirit. If we can accept that God is responsible for the health of our spirit through the Holy Spirit, and that He has granted mankind intellect and understanding of the physical body and we call these peopledoctors, why is it so difficult to see God in the use of therapy and psychiatry?
Mental Health Counseling or therapy and psychiatry are all part of God's plan to make us whole and complete. Many of us have spent years hiding from ourselves and have found ourselves unable to connect to a loving father because of the trauma we received from our Earthly father or a slew of different experiences that has thwarted our view of the Lord. The remedy to such things is not only found in prayer, but in the man or woman who has been gifted the intellect and skill to help work through this process. So, what is mental health counseling?
Mental health counselors and therapists are trained individuals who walk alongside people dealing with emotional, behavioural,and cognitive issues. Some may even serve as life coaches and can help us organise ourselves so that we can achieve goals and improve self-esteem. These professionals use theories and techniques that help heal resulting in a sense of wholeness, they can help process traumas, and help individuals face phobias that can often paralyze. They are, in a sense, the hand of God used here on Earth to help us all become whole, just as doctors use techniques and what they have learned to heal our bodies.
In their book, How People Grow, Cloud and Townsend assert that "all truth is God's truth," why? Because He is truth personified. The proven truth is that counseling and therapy can help us become better Christians when we dare to look within. When we can clear away some of the past that blurs our view,we can healthily receive the love that God demonstrates towards us in a manner in which it was meant to be felt. We can be free and truly live abundantly and complete as we strive for Holiness and excellence for the Author and Finisher of our Souls.
So no, counseling, therapy and psychiatry are not at odds with Christianity. The Lord gives wisdom and understanding forALL things. He has always made a way to reach His creation and this is just another aspect of that. So, when you need help that maybe your pastor cannot provide, if you are experiencing consistent feelings of depression, anxiety or even suicide, if you're in an unhealthy relationship, the WONDERFUL COUNSELOR has allowed His people to be His hands here on Earth, do not be embarrassed and ashamed, and most importantly PLEASE do not suffer alone in silence.
-Blessings, Vanessa Rios