Ethos



God is love. (1 John 4:8) 
 

Human Consciousness was traditionally referred to as the Soul, and in fact the word Psychology derives from study of the soul, and Psychotherapy from its treatment. Psychotherapy then should have an easy relationship with Christianity as both have as their aim 'the care of souls’, and a profound respect and ambition for, the Human Person. Hope, a crucial ingredient of change, often in short supply in personal suffering, features strongly in both domains and may provide some comfort to Christians and non-Christians alike.  

While they share the same aim, they do so through distinct disciplines; Psychology and Theology. The integrity of each, and natural human limitation means they are generally managed separately, and while each is informed by the other, professional concepts and techniques are retained. Where they can be fruitfully integrated is in the person of the practitioner. The Christian Psychologist, in being connected with both domains, is well placed to consider the interface; exploring the links between practice of faith and practice of profession, and any benefits deriving from this relationship.

 
...the truth will set you free. (John 8. 32)  

 
Of course Christianity is more than the body of knowledge and belief system that defines it. Through the action of Christ's grace it becomes a way of life. This has important implications when choosing a therapist, and is reflected in the development of professional Codes of Ethics, which give weight to personal qualities alongside professional qualifications. Again, this may provide some assurance for both Christians and non-Christians.

From the perspective of the Psychologist who is Christian, the faith dimension offers a more comprehensive and hopeful picture of the human person, contributes towards an understanding of what constitutes ‘health’, and suggests a specific attitude towards treatment built around Service to the Person.
 
Peter Watt Psychologist & Psychotherapist  www.peterwatt.com.au