Use of Prayer and Scripture in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Topics: Jesus, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Bible Pages: 5 (1713 words) Published: October 21, 2012
Use of Prayer and Scripture in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: A Journal Article Beatrice St.Surin
Liberty University
September 23, 2012


According to the article Use of Prayer and Scripture in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, published in the Journal of Psychology and Christianity in 2007, Siang-Yang Tan talked about how prayer and scripture can be incorporated into the practice of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Lately, in the field of CBT, there have been an increased on a suggestive awareness regarding a two-component model that involves self-regulation of attention in order to preserved on instant knowledge, centers on present circumstances, and implements an orientation to the acceptance of a person’s situation. Tan demonstrated that this model of CBT can be combined with prayer and scriptural truth to bring long-term benefit to clients. He mentioned a study by Hayes, Luoma, Bond, Masuda and Lillis (2006) that defined an ancient method of behavior therapy that was divided into three generational actions and involved a gradual transition from traditional behavior therapy and CBT to a collection of views and approaches like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) (Tan, 2007, p. 101). Tan referred to a self-developed biblical model to this approach that consists of an 8-part process. These processes consist of emphasizing agape love, the necessity to cultivate a sincere and open relationship with the client. While they ease the process of settling with past unresolved issues they also help with discovering spiritual meaning; by means of scriptural truth to stimulate behavior change; depend on the Holy Spirit’s ministering; concentrating on the main goal and stick to techniques that are biblical. The discussion of ongoing research before generated irrefutable statements about the advantage of CBT (Tan, 2007, p. 102). Tan also addressed the use of implicit and explicit integration in therapeutic situations. He vowed that the choice of either an implicit or an explicit method should be decided first and foremost by the necessities of the client, and that the Holy Spirit should be relied upon for guidance (Tan, 200, pp. 102-103). According to the article, Tan however, did not emphasize to take for granted that all clients will be comfortable with the inclusion of prayer and scripture in the CBT process. He stated that this approach may not be suitable with more severely distressed or psychotic clients (Tan, 2007, p. 104). A complete intake interview will obviously reveal whether the client is open to this method or whether this technique is appropriate. Tan stressed that this type of approach is very beneficial to clients who are experiencing depression, anxiety and anger issues, as well as those struggling with addictions. One method, developed by Tan in 1992, is a 7-step inner healing prayer. This method is a form of communication between the Counselor and the client to concentrate more on Christ than upon the hurt or childhood trauma they have experienced. It is really good that Tan also described actual interaction between client and counselor (Tan, 2007, p. 105). Tan indicated that the appropriate and ethical use of Scripture and prayer in CBT can be a significant help to Christian’s clients who completely believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God and their definitive authority in life (Tan, 2007, p. 108). He also expressed how the use of Scripture can enhance cognitive restructuring.

Although, this technique of combining prayer and scripture with CBT appeared to be a very good approach, Tan cautioned the readers that there are some clients who will not accept it, even though several empirical studies have shown its benefits. It is evident to see how the author is addressing an approach to therapy that has in the past been overlooked by many typical practitioners. The combination of CBT with prayer and scripture obviously provides most clients with durable,...
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