For the committed Christian, locating competent mental health professionals who are committed to Christian values and principles is becoming increasingly difficult. Our permissive, secular culture has infiltrated almost every discipline, and mental health is no exception. Mental health providers who have little or no spiritual or moral values can often do more harm than good, and certainly from a spiritual point of view can lead a person in a direction away from Christ and His teachings.
I believe that good mental health treatment and maintaining spiritual values are compatible, and that a person does not have to compromise one to receive the other. But even among those who are Christian therapists, there are varying degrees of spiritual commitment. A client or patient must be willing to ask the right questions in the beginning to know if his therapist is a good fit for his mental and spiritual health. Make a list of what is important to you spiritually. Don’t be afraid to ask a therapist her thoughts on those various spiritual values. Keep an open mind, but also be willing to question any suggestions or advice that you may feel compromises your spiritual ideas and values. Seldom will we ever find anyone who agrees with us on everything spiritually, so it is important to define what is the most important to you and let those principles be your guidelines for selecting a competent therapist.
This book is designed primarily to get an overview of some of the most common mental and emotional illnesses and disorders. Descriptions and definitions along with symptoms and treatment possibilities are suggested for each chapter. At the end of the book, there is a hotline and information lines for those who are in crises. These phone numbers will assist you in receiving information or critical help in times of depression, anxiety, grief, or other mental or emotional crises. It is my sincere prayer that this book will be of assistance to Christians seeking guidance and direction for developing and maintaining good mental health.
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to discuss every mental or emotional condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by mental health professionals. But I have selected those that I have most often seen in my practice over the last thirty years.
During a mental health emergency, one should seek the closest mental health professional for immediate assistance. Long-term therapy decisions can be made at a later time, when the patient is not in crises.