An Integrated Approach to Pastoral Therapy

Volume 14
Summer 1986
An Integrated Approach to Pastoral Therapy

The relation of the cognitive, affective, and behavioral faculties in human functioning has been viewed as a debatable issue, especially in regard to which one of these three is determinant of the other two. This issue was addressed in the late 1880’s by the James-Lange theory, which was itself later disputed by the Cannon-Bard theory. My presupposition is that our cognitive and affective faculties are so closely related that they cannot be isolated from each other, though the processes of thought take precedence in this interdependent relationship. That our thought processes precede and influence our emotions and actions is supported by both Scripture and applied psychology. The most effective methodology for pastoral counseling, then, would primarily focus on restructuring the counselee'€™s thought processes, thereby educating his or her emotions and effecting a behavior change as well. This methodology requires an integration of cognitive therapy and scriptural precepts in order to effect change and spiritual maturity.

D. Carter
146 - 154
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