Teaching the History of Christian Psychology: Looking at the past, pointing to the future. Philip G. Monroe, PsyD Michael R. McFee, PsyD www.wisecounsel.wordpress.com. What is Christian psychology?. Akin to asking what is psychology (what isn’t within the scope of psychology?)
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Philip G. Monroe, PsyD
Michael R. McFee, PsyD
Facts in psychology
Women and children
PietismCurrent Modern Dogma Division(thanks to Descartes)
So, where does theology/biblical studies fit?
High water mark of Pastoral care!
Spiritual Depression vs. in psychology
Melancholy is a dark and dusky humour which disturbs both the soul and the body, and the cure of it belongs to the physician [rather] than to the divine .... It is a humour that unfits a man for all sorts of services, but especially those that concern his soul, his spiritual estate, his everlasting condition. The melancholic person tries the physician, grieves the minister, wounds relations and makes sport for the Devil. ... Melancholy is a disease that works strange passions, strange imaginations and strange conclusions.
Thomas Brooks (1669). A Cabinet of Jewels. Works v.3.
In all this there is evidence enough of some sound psychology in the Puritan approach to mental depressions, especially in their real awareness of the distinction between mental and spiritual depression. It is not only amusing that Baxter includes into the written sermon quoted above several pages of medical 'remedies' and an amazing medley of antique potions and treatments: it also shows an awareness that, as Thomas Brooks puts it in a footnote, 'The cure of melancholy belongs rather to the physician than to the divine, to Galen than to Paul',101 and that the foregoing counsel relates not so much to the condition as to the Christian in the condition. (p.89)
Alternative to simplistic and pop theology attributions within the evangelical culture, such as:
lack of faith
lack of piety
the effect of sin
weakness of will
lack of self discipline1,2Evangelical Stigma
1.White et al, (2003, Spring). Christians and depression: attributions as mediators of the depression-buffering role of Christian social support. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 22(1), 49 - 58
2. McCandless, J. B. (1991). The Church Confronting Adult Depression: A Challenge. Counseling and Values, 35(2), 104‑113
Psychology may challenge interpretation of Scripture or theological formulations.
Integration takes place in the overlap, where both areas speak of the same things.
Psychology is passed through the filter of Christianity so what is left is pure and good y.
Two areas put together to make a new field, Christian Psychology
Bits of y taken out, observed, recast, and used to enrich the theological model (or to provoke or illustrate)
To help students prepare for in-class time.
To direct students to specific reading.
Cultivate critical thinking and ownership of the material.
Functions as a gate keeping tool.
- It directly addresses entitlement around lateness issues.
- The nature of the task with a time demand allows for a readily received deadline.
- A late position paper is either irrelevant or unfair to the rest of the class.
C: "I feel sad and lonely." within the evangelical culture, such as:
T: "You are feeling sad and lonely."
C: "Yes, I feel miserable."
T: "So you’re feeling miserable."
C: "I can't stand it anymore. If I have to talk about this one more time I am going to go out of my mind."
T: "You feel like you can’t stand this and you're not going to be able to take it anymore."
C: "I feel sad and lonely.
T: "Hmm, is this about the same when we talked on the phone?"
C: "Yes, I feel miserable."
T: "You sound quite distressed, is that something you would like me to help you with?"
C: "Yes, I can't stand it anymore. I need to do something. If I have to talk about this one more time I am going to go out of my mind."
T: "You sound exasperated, is that how you are feeling right now?"What are the advantages of each type of tracking and reflecting?
Position Papers: Position papers are not miniature term papers. They are short but serious exercises that prepare you to read the text and to participate in class discussions. How long should a position paper be? Only long enough to complete the assignment- no more, and no less. Many position papers will be just a single page, others a few pages longer. But there is never a reason to make the paper longer than it needs to be. Position papers must be prepared before the class period in which they are due and turned in during class – no exceptions. Attempts to prepare these during class and then to turn them in will be considered an honor code infraction. Each paper will be given either a “check” (denoting paper accepted) or a note explaining why the paper is unacceptable. Two points will be deducted from your final grade for each missing position paper (up to a possible 25 points).
“Late Position Papers: If you feel your paper was late for a valid reason, please attach a note of explanation (e.g. “I was on my deathbed last night”) and then turn in the paper to me. I will let you know whether the paper is finally accepted.”