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ss triple helix - spring 2013,  Modern Psychotherapies

Modern Psychotherapies

A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal
Stanton L Jones and Richard E Butman

  • IVP, 2011
  • $32 (no UK price given) Pb 496pp
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-1775-7

Have you ever wanted to read a Christian critique of all the major forms of psychotherapy – psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioural, person-centred, experiential, family therapy? This is the definitive version. Each school of psychotherapy is described, along with its philosophical assumptions and its models of psychotherapy, personality, health and abnormality.

The authors, who are from Wheaton Christian College, USA, state that all therapies contain some elements which are compatible with a Christian worldview and other elements which conflict with it. They do not believe that there is a specific 'Christian' form of psychotherapy, but they enumerate 18 criteria for 'a comprehensive theoretical approach to Christian counselling'. They believe that Christians should be eclectic and transform secular psychotherapies to conform to Christian revelation. As for Christian counsellors, they are called to show ten virtues – which may at times be in conflict with the approach of their secular colleagues – compassion, servanthood, accountability, transparency, love, stewardship, holiness, wisdom, integrity and a sense of community.

This is a classic which Christian counsellors, psychotherapists and clinical psychologists would do well to have access to.

Dominic Beer is a retired psychiatrist in London.

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