Christians do have beliefs that influence development of therapeutic preferences. Psychotherapists use any approach that seems to help clients suffering from psychological disorders (Olthuis, 2006). Christians believe that God created human beings in His own image, according to Genesis 1:26, 27. Human beings have a unity of spirit, mind and body, which is indivisible (Gen 1:26; Matt 10:28). Identity comes from the human’s relationship with God, according to Christianity. Self is in incomplete without God and thus God is central to man’s life in this world. This belief that God created human beings in His own image thus have influence in that a Christian will always want to depend upon the creator of all things. Thus, we depend fully upon God’s providence for the lives we lead to bring meaning and purpose in this world. A second belief that we can consider is that knowing God gives meaning and purpose for life. Life on earth becomes meaningless, disheartening and purposeless when knowledge of God, and His word lacks (John 12:46; 15:5-7). Death is a temporary situation according to Christianity (Seamands, 2005, p 30). This is because God will resurrect the saints at the second coming of Jesus and; therefore, this creates a hope that goes beyond the grave (1 Cor 15:42-44). Suffering and trials in a Christian life have a meaning and purpose in that they can lead to an improved knowledge of God (1 Pet 4:12-16; Rom 8:17, 28). Christian’s belief that prayer brings healing to the sick. Jesus taught that when we pray for all things according to the will of God, God would answer the prayers (Matt 7:7-9). A prayer for the can brings healing according to James 5:14-15. Therefore, Christians pray in all circumstances including sicknesses in order to receive healing from God (Seamands, 2005). According to Christianity, God intervenes supernaturally in the history of the world. Therefore, the world’s history is subject to God’s intervention (Dan 2:28). God was present before the existence of the universe, and God will always be there (Ps 90:2; Rev 1:8).
How the spiritual beliefs influence a relational ethic of care and therapy
The belief that God intervenes all through history means that He is interested in human beings even in small matters of life. Therefore, Christians subject themselves to God for His love. They depend on the example of Jesus Christ and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The human being is an indivisible unit of body, spirit, and soul. All the three subunits function in cooperation and anything that affects one subunit will lead to an impact on the whole unit. Relational ethic of care and therapy should thus address all the parts and not overemphasize one part, which will lead to undesirable results. Encouraging the sick and showing them love plays a critical role in the ethics of care (Olthuis, 2006). Often some time devoted to prayer and meditation upon the Scriptures, give encouragement and a change of attitude. Since all people are subjects of God, we strive to take care of the needs of others the way we consider own needs.
Key aspects of a relational ethic of care
Maintaining relationships by promoting and contextualizing well-being of care receivers and caregivers in a social relations network
It involves the maintenance of the world
Meeting ones needs and the needs of others
Ethics of care addresses those who are vulnerable and dependent under the inspiration of memories of care from others and self idealization
It values the importance of emotional care, motivation and care of the body in deliberation of morals
I would like to include in love, appreciation and a display of close concern in the therapeutic practice. This will help me to see my clients with a positive mind. In this case, I will view them as human beings like me, and accord them care and provision of needs for their survival. The clients feel encouraged and appreciated; therefore, they will develop a sense of self-worthiness before the entire society.
Compassionately listening to clients develops a strong relationship that leads to understanding of the clients’ problems. Listening to clients enables caregivers to learn the problems affecting them. This will lead to the provision of working solutions for their problems. Listening makes the clients feel loved by the society. In this case, they will be well in their thoughts and thus they may improve in terms of health. Caregivers should learn to show compassion for their clients in order to make their work yield satisfactory results. A relational ethic of care, love and compassion, is so crucial in the change process. It means a lot to show care, love and compassion for the suffering clients. The scriptures admonish to love all people alike and show concern for their needs. The scripture stresses that we should feed the hungry. We should not just pray and remain waiting for something to happen, yet we can do something. The Bible in 1 Corinthians 13 expounds much about love. Love yields meritorious deeds and thus as a Christian I understand that loving people brings a change in my life.
Olthuis, H. J. (2006). The Beautiful Risk: A New Psychology of Loving and Being Loved. 199 W 8th Ave Eugene :Wipf & Stock Publishers.
Seamands, S. (2005). Ministry in the Image of God: The Trinitarian Shape of Christian Service. Chicago: Inter Varsity Press.