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Faith and Psychology

Are Faith and Psychology at Odds?

Many people believe that faith and psychology are based on conflicting belief systems. Some people believe that faith is believing that only God can change people and heal them. There are others who resist going to therapy because they fear secular therapists will give them advice that goes against their religious beliefs. Sharmen explores the question, are faith and psychology really at odds, or can they go hand in hand?

Are Faith and Psychology at Odds?

The intersection of faith and psychology has long been a subject of debate and discussion. While some argue that these two realms are fundamentally at odds, others believe that they can coexist harmoniously. In this article, we will explore the relationship between faith and psychology and delve into how these seemingly distinct areas of study can complement each other. It’s essential to recognize that faith and psychology, when approached with an open mind, can enhance our understanding of both our spiritual selves and the complexities of our minds.

Psychology: A Secular Lens on Spiritual Matters

The connection between faith and psychology is often a matter of contention. Many individuals view psychology as a secular discipline that seeks to understand and address the complexities of the human mind without consideration for spirituality. However, it is crucial to understand that psychology, in its essence, is an attempt to make sense of the spiritual aspect of human beings, albeit from a secular standpoint.

Human beings are unique creatures, created by a divine power as both spiritual and psychological beings. The challenges faced in understanding our psychological processes often stem from a secular world’s attempts to make sense of this multifaceted nature. While there may be elements of psychology that appear to conflict with Christian ideals and beliefs, there is much common ground to explore. To claim that psychology and faith are inherently at odds oversimplifies the complexity of human nature.

The Fear of Dilution: Psychology in Conservative Circles

Within conservative Christian circles, there is sometimes a deep-seated fear that psychology could dilute or compromise one’s theology. This fear arises from the belief that psychological concepts and labels are not expressed in spiritual terms, which can lead to a perceived threat to one’s moral foundation. It is essential to address this fear with understanding and empathy.

This fear of dilution can often be attributed to a lack of self-awareness and a firm grasp on personal beliefs. When individuals truly know who they are and what they believe, they should not feel threatened by alternative information or perspectives. In fact, it should be seen as an opportunity for broader understanding, rather than a dilution of one’s faith.

The Quest for Understanding

It is crucial to recognize that understanding one’s own thinking and psychological processes is vital in comprehending the divine. To see God more clearly, we must first understand our own brokenness, as this understanding is a precursor to comprehending what redemption truly means. Psychology plays a significant role in helping individuals arrive at this understanding.

While there may indeed be instances of dubious and nonsensical psychological theories and practices, it does not mean we should dismiss the entire field. To do so would be to miss the opportunity to discover valuable insights and truths. The pursuit of truth, regardless of its source, is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. It is essential to remain open-minded and discerning when evaluating psychological principles.

All Truth Is God’s Truth

A crucial principle to remember is that all truth is God’s truth. The source of knowledge is not as important as the authenticity and veracity of the information. In our quest to find the truth, it is vital to be discerning and to differentiate between knowledge that leads to life and knowledge that leads to deception and death.

Whether the source of wisdom is psychology or theology, its ultimate goal should be to lead individuals toward light, freedom, joy, and a deeper connection with God. It is critical to approach any information or knowledge with the intention of using it for personal and spiritual growth.

The Role of Theology in Counseling and Coaching

In the context of counseling or coaching, Christian theology can play a significant role in guiding individuals towards spiritual growth. However, it is essential that the application of theology does not lead to coercion, oppression, or condemnation. These negative outcomes are not reflective of the core principles of Christianity.

Incorporating theology into counseling or coaching should emphasize love, compassion, and understanding. The goal is to help individuals find healing, purpose, and a deeper connection with God. When theology is employed correctly, it can be a powerful tool for transformation and personal growth.


In the end, it is crucial to dispel the notion that faith and psychology are inherently at odds. Instead of viewing these two realms as antagonistic, we should consider them as complementary. Both faith and psychology provide valuable insights into the complexities of the human experience, helping us understand ourselves and our spiritual connection.

The quest for truth, regardless of its source, is a fundamental aspect of our journey. As we navigate the intersection of faith and psychology, we must remain discerning, seeking knowledge that leads to light, life, and a closer relationship with the divine. By understanding our own psychology and embracing our faith, we can find a profound connection between the two, leading to personal growth and spiritual enlightenment.

In conclusion, faith and psychology are not at odds but rather pieces of a larger puzzle that, when put together, offer a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of our human experience and our relationship with the divine.

To learn how we can help, reach out to us at (206) 219-0145 or info@marriagerecoverycenter.com to speak with a Client Care Specialist

Also read: What is Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)?

About Dr. Hawkins:

The internet is inundated with hyperbole and misinformation about narcissism, leaving many people confused and hopeless. Get the facts on narcissism and emotional abuse from someone who has been researching, writing about and treating narcissism and emotional abuse for over a decade.

Dr. Hawkins is a best-selling author and clinical psychologist with over three decades of experience helping people break unhealthy patterns and build healthier relationships.

He is the founder and director of the Marriage Recovery Center and the Emotional Abuse Institute which offers education, training and counseling for people who want to break free of, and heal from, emotional abuse. Whether the perpetrator of the abuse is your spouse, partner, parent, boss, friend or family member, we offer practical advice for anyone trapped in a toxic, destructive relationship.

In addition to narcissism & emotional abuse, you’ll learn about the lesser known forms of abuse, including covert abuse, reactive abuse, spiritual abuse, secondary abuse, relationship trauma and much more.


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