Last week’s homework and a small part of what I’m researching this term.
We were asked to write about a research topic that would require two or more interdisciplinary studies. Mine is the combination of psychology, sociology, and theology.
My research topic is on mental illness and Christianity/spirituality, and my research question is “Does Christian psychology benefit people with mental illness and how does the combination of psychology and theology help mental illness?”
Recent studies show that the integration of theology into counseling have benefited people with mental illness. Kinghorn’s (2016) article, describes five different “American Christian approaches to mental health and mental illness—pastoral care and counseling, biblical counseling, integrationism, Christian psychology, and the work of the Institute for the Psychological Sciences” (p. 107). My focus will be on Christian psychology which Kinghorn’s (2016), article, gives a brief description of. Basically, Christian Psychologists learn how to incorporate Christian practices and beliefs into counseling sessions to benefit the clients.
One such benefit is teaching clients about self-image with the belief that humankind is created in God’s image. I will be using Jauncey and Strodl’s (2018), research article which, “explores whether the Christian themes of love of God, love of others, and love of self were associated with improved well-being” (p. 239). They base their research on Jesus’ three principles in Matthew 27:37–40, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself—” (New International Version; NIV).
Knowing when and how to use psychology, sociology, and theology along with the integration of each field of study can be essential to helping Christians to understand mental illness.
Jauncey, T., & Strodl, E. (2018). Love of God, others, and self and their association with satisfaction with life and mental health for Christians. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 20(3), 239-260. doi:10.1080/19349637.2017.1419839
Kinghorn, W. A. (2016). American Christian engagement with mental health and mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 67(1), 107-110. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201400542