The EMCAPP Declaration – 2006
There are five main positions within psychotherapy depending on the belief system and method of practice of the therapist.
- The non-Christian therapist using a secular model of therapy. This person puts their trust in science and experience and thus gives honour to science and self-knowledge as developed through personal life experiences of self and others. Clients are blessed by common sense therapy and God’s universal grace.
- The non-Christian therapist using a combination of secular models and also a post-modern “spiritual” approach working with metaphysical concepts not directly related to Christianity. Here outcomes are less predictable, and exploring the spiritual area without firm guidelines may lead to unforeseen consequences.
- The therapist who is a Christian but uses a secular model of therapy as in the first case above. Again the client is helped by common sense and God’s grace. Christian areas can be explored if the client wishes it, but the therapist is usually not prepared or trained to integrate the spiritual dimension into the help they provide.
- The Christian therapist who uses a Christian approach to psychotherapy and so develops specific aims, methods and desired outcomes according to Christian beliefs. The model of practice is developed and verified using the same scientific methods as in secular models in recognition of the fact that God gives us both reason and revelation. This therapist gives honour to God and also recognises the value of scientific evaluation. He/she trusts God first and then human reason.
- The Christian therapist who uses a “charismatic” or a “Biblical” approach to therapy which relies on God’s direct intervention through prayer, God’s word and ministry. No recognised model of therapy is developed (although the individual’s practice may be consistent), and no scientific evaluation is sought as the spiritual world is not considered suitable for scientific evaluation. All the honour is given to God, who works in a mystical and hidden way.