Sunday, March 14, 2010

Therapy for Depression (Part 3)

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)

For a person experiencing depression as incapacitating illness, the mind needs to heal from negative, unrealistic thoughts. These negative thoughts generally fall into 3 categories. Psychiatrists and clinical psychologists call it the "triad of depression."

1. negative notions about SELF (feeling helpless, confused, misunderstood)
2. negative notions about the WORLD (events in life and relationship with others)
3. negative notions about the FUTURE (feeling hopeless)

In psychotherapy and counseling, these 3 typical angles of a depressed person's negative beliefs and self-statements need to be addressed and processed.

Noted psychotherapist, Dr. Albert Ellis, designed an approach he called RET (rational-emotive therapy) which is aimed at changing irrational, negative thoughts that are at the root of emotional disturbances. Once these negative thought patterns are identified, according to Dr. Ellis, they can be unlearned.

I agree with Dr. Ellis "cognitive restructuring" position in psychotherapy. The Scriptures also confirm that aspect of therapy when it teaches the importance of the "renewing of the mind" in Romans 12:2 to bring healing and wellness to our whole being.

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