The Integration of Christianity and Psychology

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  • Topic: Psychology, Personality psychology, Human
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Personal Theory Paper: Future Counseling Theory Paper

Bethany F. Miracle

Liberty University

Abstract
In this paper, I discussed my personal theory regarding the integration of Christianity and psychology, as it relates to my beliefs, and how the summation of these two components will be reflected in my future counseling practice. I considered several factors that were critical to my personal counseling theory. First, I considered the human personality, such as, individual differences, motivations, and human development. Each person is unique; however, both Christianity and psychology have discovered common threads that are woven throughout the human race, and I believe that information is imperative to the counseling process. Next, I will discuss why and how problems develop. There are a number of reasons problems occur; however, prior to implementing a treatment plan, I must decide if the problem is physical, psychological, or spiritual. Problems can be physical; however, it is my belief that they are most often spiritual and psychological, which require an integrated therapeutic approach. I believe that due to a person’s unhealthy self-talk, they are not able to see themselves as God sees them; therefore, I will discuss the reasons why I believe that psychology, specifically aspects of Cognitive Therapy, must be integrated with the Biblical truths to be effective. Lastly, it is my belief that this work cannot be done without the inner working power of the Holy Spirit in the life of a person. I believe the combination of these components can permanently transform a person from the inside out.

Keywords: integration, Cognitive Therapy, self-talk, Christianity, cognitive, behavior, Beck, truth, personality, intervention, Bible

Personal Theory Paper: Future Counseling Theory Paper
Development and Structure of Personality (.5)
Hawkins (2010) discusses five components that shape and influence the human personality; he refers to these components that diagram the self, as concentric circles. These components are comprised of the core, the body, the soul, the temporal systems, and the supernatural systems (Hawkins, 2010). Hawkins (2010) refers to the core as the innermost part of the self; it houses the Holy Spirit, and even sin and selfishness. Next is the soul circle that is inclusive of a person’s thoughts, conscience, volition, and emotions. The third circle contains the individual’s physical body.  The fourth circle is the temporal system, and it includes family, friends, church, society, government, economy, and education.  Lastly, the supernatural system circle that contains both good and evil; it is comprised of God, good and evil angels, demons, and Satan (Hawkins, 2010). One of Hawkins (2010) most impactful statements as it relates to the concentric circles is that these components should function with the others in synchronization, and when one component is impacted, the overall system is impacted (Hawkins, 2010). This means that if one of these systems malfunctions, then the entire system will malfunction. For example, if a person’s temporal system consists of friends who speak negatively about them, then it is possible that their emotions, which are contained in the soul circle, will be negatively impacted. In this case, the negative words of a friend may start to result in feelings of low self-esteem; therefore, the temporal system has impacted the soul circle. Likewise, when the core is dominated by sin, then the overall system will be dominated by sin. Wilson (2001) postulates a similar personality development theory, which is that a person’s personality evolves due to their innate childhood survival instincts. She postulates that behavioral patterns and personality types were formed during childhood and that they resulted from a child’s continual responses to questions relating to a need for “trust, identity, and attachment” (p. 83). In other words, the child’s need to trust...
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