Got Questions.Com What Are Some Ways To Seek Gods Presence History of Counseling

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History of Counseling

In discussing the history of counseling we would like to divide the subject into two sections, secular and Christian.

Secular. The history of counseling has its origins, first in religion, later in philosophy, and later in medicine. Religion and philosophy ask many of the same questions: “Where did I come from? Where am I going? Why am I here?” Medicine on the other hand tends to ask the question “Are you covered by insurance?” From time to time, members of a community go through life changes. In those times, they ask for help from their priest, wise man, or witch. Usually all three offices are found in one person. Generally the problems they face are of two types; grief over the loss of a loved one, or guilt related to the problem of wrong behavior, sometimes called guilt.

There are other problems of course, from love sickness, to anxiety, to insanity. Such unique problems require unique solutions. Love-sickness has its cures, and anxiety its elixirs and counsels, while fools are often regarded as touched by the gods, and if not honored they are further driven from their community. Hannibal, Alexander, and Caesar with their skins are examples of the former, while King David (I Samuel 21:10-15) and the sack of Gadara (Luke 8:26-39) are examples of the latter.

That was the order of things for millennia. However, as populations grew and religions changed, stupidity began to look less tolerated. Eventually, “madhouses” arose to deal with society’s impatience and fear with such people.

It was during this time that psychiatry and psychology began to make their presence known. Both have their origins in 19th century Europe. However, of the two, psychology is more a product of science than psychiatry. However, both were founded on secular humanism in a Europe that had become cold to the gospel of Christ and thus far outside orthodox Christianity.

Christian. Christian counseling has been part of the work of the ministry since the beginning of the Church. “Ever since the time of the apostles, counseling has taken place in the Church as a natural function of social spiritual life.” Pablo made it clear that he considers God’s family worthy of counseling each other when there is a need. He said, “I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and able to teach (advise) one another” (Romans 15:14 NIV).

Like the helping mission of the pagans around them, Christianity also addresses the problems of sorrow and sin, although with very different advice on how to deal with these problems.

The Reformation, and later the Puritan movement in England and America saw a significant return in Christianity to the authority of the bible as the only source of “life and godliness.” What characterizes especially the Puritans is the practical application of the Word to the problems of life. In this sense, Christian counseling begins to take on a new meaning. Few works stand out as outstanding representatives of this flow of valuable advice to the Church. They are, Richard Baxter’s A Christian Directory, Thomas Brooks’s Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, Jonathan Edwards’s A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, and Ichabod Spencer’s A Pastor’s Sketches. Most of these essays are what we might call “case studies” in style.

However, over time, the message of the church is becoming less and less, and the void created by a Church with few answers, is answered by creative minds with human faith. At the head of this crowd was Sigmund Freud who was a doctor from Vienna, Austria. Operating not only from a non-Christian, but actually anti-Christian place, Freud postulates a human being who are innocent, helpless victims of their parents’ failures. For a world struggling to free itself from a theological slavery to Reformed theology that makes humanity fully responsible for its moral failings, blame shifting to new psychologists and psychiatrists is not proved to be resistant. Europe and America in the 19th and 20th centuries began to flood with answers to the questions of life’s problems expressed by these people.

Eventually, Christian ministers began to realize that they were no longer looking for answers to life’s problems, as before. Indeed, the unspoken consensus is that Christianity has no answers for these new problems. Not only did the humanists believe this; Christians themselves hold the same position. Liberals in the Church respond to these serious problems of Christian living, by “delaying and discussing” with “those properly trained to deal with ‘real’ problems,” (psychologists or psychiatrists) or by getting the psychological training that will equip them. in this work. Conservatives see the problem as a lack of commitment, Bible study, prayer, and faithful attendance at all church services. In other words, they deny its existence.

In the ’60’s a new type of evangelical, represented by Bruce Narramore, presented an alternative to the surrender of liberalism on the one hand, and the rejection of fundamentalism on the other. Their answer was the “Christianization” of psychiatry and psychology. Their cry is “all truth is God’s truth.” With this banner raised, they boldly stormed the gates of neurosis, wresting brands from the masses of the depressed. Orthodox Christians are flocking to read new books that combine orthodox Christianity and humanism with psychology and psychiatry.

This solution captured the imagination of the Church; it continues to do so to this day. However, in the early 70’s a new approach was pioneered by a professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, Dr. Jay E. Adams. In response to the responsibilities given to him to teach counseling students at Westminster, he developed a method of counseling, which he calls nouthetic counseling. In essence, he stated that in the scriptures the Christian has everything he needs for “life and godliness.” The problem of the Church, he said, is that it does not make the scriptures useful through proper exegesis, and related to the tools of the problems of life.

His writings started a quiet, slow-growing, revolution in many conservative/orthodox churches. It is the return to the bible that brings Christianity full circle in its application of scripture to the practical and difficult problems of life.

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