Psychology vs. Spiritual Help

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Laurel at Our Journey of Faith wrote this post and wanted to know my thoughts. The question posed on her blog was whether a Christian family ought to search out psychological help for their wounded, damaged adopted child.

Is it really wrong to seek help from “the professionals”?

When we first adopted almost 12 years ago (our story here) it was our oldest daughter B that was the greatest concern. She was 10 1/2 years old and we had no idea the abuse, both emotional, physical and se*ual that she had endured. We tried one therapist for several months and she completely missed the mark. We found another therapist, a godly man who didn’t do “Christian” counseling per se but always talked me through his work with my daughter. Saw him for a couple of years and made absolutely no progress. Around Thanksgiving of 2003 I was listening to a radio program on Focus on the Family with Nancy Thomas (attachment parent and expert) and felt like God was laying a Christmas gift in my lap. Everything that was said felt like a chapter from our lives. As I searched Nancy Thomas’ website she listed parent recommended therapists. I found one in my city and could never know how that radio program would change our lives.

We started therapy a month later with B (our therapist had worked with Nancy Thomas but wasn’t aware of the info on her site) and within a couple of months B was able to tell us all the things she had been doing, under our noses, in our home, to her siblings and to our family. It was devastating but these revelations started us on the road to getting B help. 

After B went into a residential treatment facility her two younger siblings began acting out and through the last seven years have addressed many issues similar to B’s.  They face many of the same obstacles and diagnoses. If you look up RAD on my sidebar you will see the many posts related to our journey.

With that background, I want to say that our therapist is a godly woman who has walked us through the worst moments in our lives. Without her help, counsel, respite provision and complete faith in God I shudder to think where we would be. Do I think she is completely responsible for the progress we’ve made? No, and she always reminds me that true healing can only come from God. 

Our children have been damaged beyond our understanding and are fighting a spiritual battle. The enemy of their hearts want them to fail, to reject their adoptive parents and to believe the lies He whispers in their ears. What I have learned from 11 years as an adoptive parent is that my children have heard the Truth, seen the Truth lived out in their lives and are totally responsible at the ages of 12 and 13 of making the decision to accept or reject the Truth. Despite, therapy, therapeutic parenting, unconditional love, grace in abundance (for them AND for us) I cannot force my children to accept the Truth.

I have one child healing, one still struggling and one who is estranged from our family. God led us to an extraordinary therapist and I will forever be grateful. All the glory goes to God. Please understand. I believe with everything in me that it was God’s hand on our lives and our desperate plea for help from Him that led us there. But I also believe that our therapist trained and studied to help children just like mine, yet recognizes and affirms that God is the divine healer.

Laurel says, “We absolutely believe in healing. We absolutely believe in spiritual warfare. We absolutely believe in deliverance from the enemy … we also believe that the Lord can and does work through ordinary men and women … and we believe that He can even work through the profession of psychology, if He so chooses.” For our family, we are thankful to have gotten the help we needed to put our family back together and find the strength, both from God and from professionals, to continue to step out in faith, believing God is a miracle healer. 

Linking with: Fireflies and Jellybeans

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  1. Great post!

    Thanks for sharing.

    We are praying that we may find (and be able to afford) just the right therapist for our daughter.

    Laurel 🙂

  2. I agree 100%. Thanks for sharing!

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