The healing power of faith in mood and anxiety disorders : pastoral study
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The central theoretical argument of the study is that faith can heal or help counselees to cope with mood and anxiety disorders. In the meta-theoretical perspective a literature study of recent research on mood and anxiety disorders and the therapeutic approaches to each within the disciplines of psychiatry, psychology, and medicine was done. It was found that there are a number of different causes and treatments for depression and anxiety with different disciplines emphasising different perspectives. An empirical study consisting of qualitative structured interviews and observations of a selected group of counselees struggling with depression and anxiety was also carried out. It was established that faith had played a significant role in the healing of the counselee's depression and anxiety or in their ability to deal with their illnesses. The goal with the basis-theoretical perspectives was to explore what the Bible has to teach about 'depression", faith and healing and to research the revelation historical stance on this. Expositional studies of a selected core of biblical references pertaining to depression were undertaken and key biblical figures who suffered from “depression" were studied. It was concluded that although the Bible does not speak of depression and anxiety per se, it describes people who might have been suffering from it. Valuable insights that can be used in helping counselees to deal and/or cope with their depression and anxiety were gained by studying these biblical characters and passages (2 Corinthians 1:3-11, Philippians 4:4-13 and Lamentations). In the practice-theoretical perspective an integrative model which can be used by pastoral counsellors for dealing with depression in a faith-based context and for equipping depression sufferers to constructively deal with their depression and anxiety was developed. This was accomplished by utilising the basis- and meta-theoretical perspectives in a hermeneutical interaction to formulate a holistic faith-based model.
- ETD@PUK