BELIEFS DRIVE EMOTIONS
Most Christian psychologists agree with the premise that it is our beliefs that drive our emotions and then our actions. Doctor Albert Ellis, an American psychologist and psychotherapist who founded Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), is one such advocate of this thesis. REBT is based on the principles of ABC.
REBT begins with ABC!
A is for activating experiences, such as family troubles, unsatisfying work, early childhood traumas, and all the many things we point to as the sources of our unhappiness.
B stands for beliefs, especially the irrational, self-defeating beliefs that are the actual sources of our unhappiness.
C is for consequences, the neurotic symptoms and negative emotions such as depression panic, and rage, that come from our beliefs.
For example, “a depressed person feels sad and lonely because he erroneously thinks he is inadequate and deserted.” Actually, depressed people perform just as well as non-depressed people. So, a therapist should show the depressed person his or her successes, and attack the belief that they are inadequate, rather than attacking the mood itself!
Irrational beliefs are the result of “philosophical conditioning,” habits not unlike that of answering the phone just because it rings. Further, Ellis says that we are biologically programmed to be susceptible to this kind of conditioning!
In Biblical terms we know that the irrational beliefs Dr. Ellis refers to is in fact the lies that Satan spreads around. We also know that the “philosophical conditioning” he refers to is our subconscious awareness of sin and how we relate to that. The biological programming points to our propensity to disobey God and to do our own thing.
GOD IS THE SUPREME PSYCHOLOGIST
Our Lord God has given us a handbook on humanity that covers every
single aspect of our spiritual, psychological and practical living experience.
Through His Word in the Bible, God is the ultimate and supreme psychologist we can get counseling from. God does not theorize, He states immutable and undisputable truth, because He is Truth. Furthermore if we follow and obey His counsel the outcome is guaranteed.
ONLY ONE PERSON WITHOUT SIN
God also provides an unchanging standard by which we can measure our functionality and clarity of mind. We all have our shortcomings, failings and weaknesses when we are truthful. Jesus Christ was the only one ever in whom no sin or wrongdoing or lies could be found. Consequently He is the one against whom all of us are measured. Romans 3:23 (NIV) confirms this:
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”
GOD’S WORD IS JESUS CHRIST
Biblical Therapy is a faith based process during which we compare the lies that have formed our belief system with the truth according to God’s Word. According to the Bible we discover that the embodiment of God’s Word is His Son Jesus Christ. John 1:1-2
“1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2He was in the beginning with God.”
DR KRIGE AND HOUSE REGENERATION
This adapted content was extracted from A Biblical Approach to Psychotherapy authored by Dr Ado Krige, the Founding Director of House Regeneration, a South African drug rehabilitation centre offering a comprehensive discipleship training program. By applying principles of Biblical Therapy, using the Scriptures to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness, House Regeneration counsellors show anyone who has suffered from addiction how to fully understand why they do what they do and how to bring their belief systems in line with the Word of God.