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"The entrance of thy words giveth light (Psalm 119:130)."

Exceptions

There are notable exceptions where secular therapeutic approaches are effective. They can also be helpful even though they are usually not curative. I will provide some examples.

The most obvious example is certain pediatric disorders. If, for example, your child's pediatrician recommends behavioral therapy for your child's Autism Spectrum Disorder, follow his instructions without delay. Specialized treatments are available that can make a big difference in your child's life

Talking to anyone who is supportive, including a compassionate secular therapist, will likely be helpful. Expressing your feelings, when you feel the need, will often release pent up emotions and help you meet life's challenges in the aftermath of a traumatic event. It will reduce your stress. Even serious psychotic disorders can show major improvement as a result of caring, supportive personal relationships.

Just be careful about any advice that is given. The Bible states: "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ (Colossians 2:8 NKJV)."

Drug and alcohol programs: Many people benefit from secular programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) or Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.). These programs provide useful support and encouragement. The one outstanding quality of A.A. is that they encourage having an accountability partner or "sponsor." This is an extremely valuable element which is lacking in some otherwise good Christian drug and alcohol programs. However, Christian drug and alcohol programs have superior results.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: Many people find working on their self-talk is helpful in reducing stress and sometimes depression. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is effective with panic attacks and is helpful with other issues. But the Bible works better. The best secular program I've seen is provided by the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety. But it's expensive! If you want to try this without spending a lot of money, order the CDs used on E-Bay. You don't need the latest version.

Behavioral: Many therapists teach assertiveness and use other behavioral interventions designed to overcome various obstacles. These are useful.

Bereavement: Bereavement clients report satisfaction with and lasting benefits from secular therapy. These clients simply need a compassionate listener. And most secular therapists are able to fulfill this need.

Finally, some secular therapeutic models do promote personal responsibility and constructive action. Anything that encourages personal responsibility is helpful.

 

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