I'll be working on posting a multipart discussion of Christian perspectives on the use and importance of secular psychotherapies.
There should be no need to convince anyone anymore that our society places a huge emphasis on well-being and mental health. The office of the psychotherapist is now the new battle ground where the confused, hurting, and abused people of America fight to gain emotional stability, relational compatibility, and relief from the symptoms of mental illness. For most Americans today it seems automatic that someone concerned about the care of those who suffer from emotional ailments and the like would support our society’s healing institution of psychotherapy. However, both in the church and in secular communities there are voices of dissent against this institution of healing.
The disenting voices offer perspectives and insights which raise important questions for the Christian worth considering; that is, both the disenting perspectives and the subsequent questions are worthy of consideration. As such, my aim is to offer a brief introduction into this conversation by way of reviewing two broad Christian responses to the content and use of modern secular psychotherapies.
Two Christian Responses
The Christian response to the cultural prominence (and dominance) of psychotherapy has been varied. Although there are many voices in this discussion, two general tendencies exist along a continuum of thought. One side, which I will represent by the writings of Gary Collins, defends the view that, “while biblical faith and practice give us controls to evaluate outside input [i.e., secular psychotherapies], it does not give enough detail to constitute a model.” In other words, Gary Collins will represent the view that psychotherapies are significant and useful for addressing many of the mental and relational ailments within our society. The other side of the debate, represented here by David Powlison, argues that, “while the psychologies [or psychotherapies] may stimulate and inform, they are unnecessary for the constitution of a robust model.” This second view emphasizes the traditions, resources and values of the church as sufficient for healing individuals.
In the next part I will discuss the Integration View presented by Gary Collins.
 David Powlison, “Questions at the Crossroads,” in Care for the Soul, ed. Mark McMinn & Timothy Phillips (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2001), p. 32.
 Ibid, p. 32.