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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

OCD, ADHD, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder . . . these are no longer just technical terms and medical diagnoses, they are part of our common vocabulary and culture.
As Christians, we shouldn't isolate ourselves from this discussion or dismiss these important issues. But we also should be careful not to accept the entire secular psychiatric diagnostic and treatment enterprise without question. What we need is a balanced, biblically (and scientifically) informed approach that neither blindly accepts nor harshly dismisses psychiatric labels, diagnoses, and medicines that are prescribed to help those who are suffering.
As both a Biblical counselor and medical doctor, Michael R. Emlet, MD, gives readers a Christ-centered approach to psychiatry and guides both lay and professional helpers through the thicket of mental health labels and treatments with a biblical lens. In a clear and thoughtful way that puts the person experiencing mental health issues at the forefront, Emlet uses Scripture to show how the Bible engages in the discussion of psychiatric labels and the medications that are often recommended based on those labels. The first book in the "Helping the Helper" series, Descriptions and Prescriptions will give readers a biblical, gospel-formed perspective to help them understand and minister to those struggling with mental health issues.
Michael R. Emlet, MDiv, MD, practiced as a family physician for over ten years before becoming a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He is the author of the book "CrossTalk: Where Life & Scripture Meet," the minibooks "Asperger Syndrome;" "Chronic Pain;" "Angry Children: Understanding and Helping Your Child Regain Control;" and "Help for the Caregiver: Facing the Challenges with Understanding and Strength," and many counseling articles.
Find out more about Michael at


At first I wasn’t going to read this book because it is geared toward pastors and Christian counseling. My curiosity got the best of me and I decided I wanted to see how the author stood on this issue. I was pleasantly surprised to see how he balanced what the worlds view and the Christian view is. This is a very tough topic for many to talk about, but is much needed as many suffer from mental disabilities. 

There was a time when someone was diagnosed with a mental illness and it seemed like people thought they had the plague. With the authors careful and thoughtful research, we can better understand how to cope with it. I did like the example the author gave about medicine for depression. There are so many different medications on the market today for depression, it is hard to figure out which one is best to prescribe . He goes on to explain that speaking with someone about your depression is important because it helps to balance their thinking. Don’t we all go to a friend or spouse when we are feeling down? Just talking to someone helps us feel less stress. I liked the point he made that “Rather, my aim is simply to get you thinking about the fact that helping a struggling person to evaluate his emotions and thoughts and to bring them into line with reality affects change in depression. God does not bypass the body in the sanctification process. To the extent that a person’s thoughts, emotions, desires, motivations, and actions align with God’s revealed way of living in Scripture, our neutral patterns should reveal that reality.”

I loved the scriptures he gave referring to suffering and how God is there to help us. He doesn’t want us to suffer, but to have health and wisdom. Throughout the book, the author provides both sides of this subject with compassion in a non bias approach. For me, I think it should be left up to each individual how they want to pursue treatment. However there may be times when others may need to step in if they think a person may be in danger of hurting themselves or others. Whatever path a person decides to take, it is important not to judge or condemn them. We can best help by reaching out and listening to them. I enjoyed the book and the authors way he presented both sides in a clear and concise manner. 

I received a copy of this book from LitFuse. The review is my own opinion.

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