Cognitive Behavioral Therapy--Renewing your Mind
"Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God—what is good and well-pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2 (NET)
There is a lot of discussion about therapy and its place in the lives of Christians. It can be overwhelming when we know we need professional help but are worried that seeking out therapy might be in conflict with our faith. Thankfully, God is the God of all things that are truly good, and he works mightily through therapy. Let's take a look at one of the most researched and evidence-based therapies and how it can help us grow in our faith and mental health.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It helps us identify and change negative or unrealistic thoughts and beliefs that are contributing to psychological distress or causing us difficulties in our lives. For the Christian, CBT can complement and enhance our faith by providing tools and strategies for better managing our thoughts and emotions and improve our overall well-being.
Here are some of the benefits of CBT from the Christian perspective:
Aligns with Christian values: CBT values personal responsibility and self-reflection, which aligns with the Christian belief in the importance of self-examination and accountability. (Philippians 2:12-13)
Enhances spiritual growth: CBT can help us better understand our thought patterns and the role they play in shaping our emotions and behavior. This can lead to greater self-awareness and growth in our spiritual lives. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Supports healing: CBT can help us overcome emotional difficulties and reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. This can facilitate healing and promote physical and emotional well-being, which is in line with the belief in the importance of caring for one's mind, body, and spirit. (Philippians 4:8)
Promotes resilience: CBT can help us develop coping skills and resilience in the face of life's challenges, which aligns with the Christian belief in the importance of perseverance and trusting in God's plan. (Proverbs 3:7-8)
CBT can be a helpful tool as we seek to improve our mental health and well-being. CBT is not a substitute for spiritual practices and a relationship with God, but it can enhance our ability to see God working, increase our faith, build a stronger mind, soul, and body, and help us relate to our world better from a Christian perspective. CBT complements and enhances one's faith, but it is important to continue to pray, read your Bible, attend church, connect to God through nature and relationships, and engage in spiritual practices outside of therapy.
CBT is truly a way in which the believer can renew their mind. If you are struggling to make sense of your world, please reach out to The King's Forge or another Christian counselor in your area today.