I had a discussion with a friend some time ago, about the value of psychiatry. Here was my response.
I've heard segments of the church dismiss the value of psychiatry and psychology all of my Christian life. In my opinion to dismiss the huge body of knowledge they have accumulated over the years and the obvious good they have done is short sighted and naive. It's not new, and it sounds grandiose to suggest that we don't need to understand the history and oppression that people have gone through to better meet their need, but I have learned a great deal about the effects of trauma and it has opened doors to better ministry in many ways.
It doesn't change my faith, I believe even more that Christ is the answer and the Holy Spirit is the power that brings renewal, but to say that the women at the Corrections Center have not benefitted from the psychology and counsel they receive is to deny all of their testimonies. They have 56 hours a week of psychology and for us to discredit it from the pulpit is a line I would not ever cross.
Therapists specialize in helping very difficult conditions that overwhelm people’s faith, but until they reach a point where they can move the mountains by faith alone, I say, seek a multitude of counselors, use every resource available to banish and overcome these complicated issues.
I will never tell the women at the jail that the hope and progress they have achieved from the counsel by "worldly" therapists is of none effect. They have their victories as well, and to deny it, is to discredit the Christian message.
I read psychological case studies, not to prescribe a secular message or remedy, but to better understand behaviors that continually and repeatedly occur among the traumatized; why? So I can find Biblical answers and wisdom.
Let me learn all I can, as fast as I can, as long as I can from nature's classroom, the thoughts of others more experienced than I, from case studies of professionals, from divines from the past and those in the present, as well as my local pulpit, but first and foremost from the guiding hand of God through His word; but I will seek all options in this noble work, and I can't think of one instance where it has been a disadvantage. I want a full quiver for this violent spiritual battle that takes nothing less than the whole armor of God, and our whole "mind" in the battle. Gold is gold whether on the back of a mule or in the pocket of a thief.