Worldview and PsychotherapyOmslag MHR-2

An Analysis of the Christian Integration Debate

Bert Loonstra

International Series in Mental Health and Religion, Volume 2.
Uitgegeven in samenwerking met Shaker Verlag,
Aachen, 2016. 442 pagina's.

49,80, te bestellen bij uitgever Shaker Verlag.

The author investigates the history of the debate on the relationship between psychotherapy and Christianity, in particular in Northern America. With the help of Reformational Philosophy he develops an own conceptual framework in order to arrive at his own assessment and position in the debate. The result is that the worldview related presuppositions of secular professional care are not obvious; they ask for continued reflection. Not only individual autonomy deserves attention but as much the embedding of clients into their own social environment with its own norms and values. The scope of this outcome is not limited to Christianity in all its variations but extends to many more worldviews.

This conclusion is the result of a literature study devoted to two American journals of psychology and Christianity from their first issues in the seventies and eighties of the previous century, in which the debate is conducted. In the Netherlands and in Europe such a thoroughgoing debate on the presuppositions of psychotherapy is lacking.

The outcomes are also important in the Dutch and European context. This applies to Christian institutions for mental health care in our country, and for professional associations that reflect on these issues (such as in our country the CVPPP with about 350 members) but no less to secular mental health care. If the latter ignores the own presuppositions of institutional policy, utilized therapeutic methods, and the personal approach of the therapist, then the life and worldviews of clients run the risk of being compromised, with all its consequences.