Tumaini Articles #2

Last time in Tidbits the three main areas that all theories of psychology deal with were mentioned: thinking, behavior, and feelings. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy we found out starts with trying to replace distorted thinking with more realistic thoughts that are more true to life and God’s teachings.

Some counselling theories begin with behavior, which is acquired through conditioning. It’s a theory used most often with children, which says that learning occurs through rewards and consequences, and an association is made between the behavior and the consequences of it. It is similar to a person who is training for the marathon and puts their body through a rigorous conditioning program of similar exercise to achieve good results and not collapse halfway through the race. The same thing applies to the mind. When you condition yourself to do the right behavior and you get beneficial results, you feel better and your thinking is more positive. It reminds me of what Moses said in Deuteronomy 30:19 to the Children of Israel before they were entering the Promised Land and after God had revealed all the laws that Israel should follow. He told them, “Now choose life so that you and your children may live,” instead of bringing destruction into their lives.

There are other psychological theories that begin with feelings and emotions. Feelings have a very powerful influence on us; and although this may sound simplistic, just listening to people’s feelings and hurts has a huge role to play in the counselling process. The person who is being listened to senses that someone understands them and can identify with them and respects them. Encouraging people to express and talk about their emotions can help them get through difficult times like sadness, loss, and suffering. Then they can get to the place where they aren’t controlled by these emotions and are open to change and growth and to other methods of treatment that can bring healing. This can lead to thinking more positively about life and having the strength and courage to live the abundant life. At Tumaini there are counselors, who are trained in these three areas and the theories associated with them. They can help missionaries and their families to think Christ-like thoughts, practice healthy and moral behavior, and be better listeners and comforters to others. We are wonderfully made in God’s image with our thoughts, actions, and emotions. These three are beautifully and elaborately interwoven together making us who we are…human beings created by an awesome God. If these three areas are captive to Christ, we will be a more fruitful witness to the hope that is in us.

You can contact Tumaini by calling 0728606911 or by email at tumaini.ac@aimint.org

Ray Hommes