Sarah Blake LaRose (3kitties) wrote,
Sarah Blake LaRose

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therapist vs. pastor's role in my life

Modified from an email sent to someone...

I've had a lot of therapists over the years, and I've gone back and forth about caring and not caring whether or not they shared my faith. My own personal opinion about faith and psychology is that psychology is what we make of it. I know that some vocal subgroup of Christians rejects the idea that anything good can come out of psychology--probably for the reason that it isn't full of God talk. There was a time when I could have been persuaded by this group, and I even had trouble with and almost quit DBT because it was written using sources from other religions. Fortunately, wise mind won out and I stuck with it long enough to realize that the Bible also applies many of these same principles. I'd like to see a model of DBT that incorporates Biblical references and concepts, but that's just a desire and not a requirement. God made us, and He knows our minds, and that doesn't change whether we explain things in terms of Robert McGee's theories about the search for significance or Freud's ego states.

What i want in a therapist has generally depended on the goals I had at the time for my therapy. When I was dealing with the divorce issues, I did want someone who would pray with me and discuss the faith issues. I also wanted someone who knew trauma and dissociation, and that cut most pastors out of the picture. So the answer was a Christian therapist, which I was able to find. After I moved to Anderson, I found a good church and the pastors and other people there were people who could safely meet my spiritual needs. I also had access to my "personal pastor" (my dad). I wanted someone who knew trauma and who knew DBT. So the Christian therapist requirement took a back seat. It happens that I actually found a Christian therapist, but I didn't know it right away and it was really a casual point made. We never discussed spiritual issues deeply.

My experiences with church during the last few years have been positive for the most part, and I'm realizing that church isn't just about having something to do on Sunday mornings or having a "big brother" watching over me. It's about being supported and encouraged and even getting a healthy boot in the rear when I need it. It's about building relationships that exist as a part of my relationship with God. It's about putting my belief into action and participating in things where I am both giving and receiving.


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