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CBT and Christianity

While Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an empirically-supported treatment, many behavioral and analytical psychotherapists also recognize the healing potential of religious belief. CBT and Christianity offers CBT therapists an authoritative, practical, and comprehensive resource for counseling clients with an allegiance to the Christian faith. This innovative new treatment approach compares the teachings of Jesus to contemporary cognitive therapies, describing a variety of successful assessment and treatment approaches with Christian clients by incorporating the teachings of Jesus into logical thinking, schema modification, and committed behavior change. Clarity is further enhanced through a variety of specific examples, descriptions of generic methods, and supplemental resources provided by the author. By combining effective treatments with sensitivity to religious convictions, CBT and Christianity offers innovative insights into the spiritual and psychological well-being of clients with Christian beliefs.
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Table of Contents

List of Figures xii List of Boxes xiii List of Tables xiv About the Author xvi Author s Preface xvii Part 1 Rationale for the Use of the Teachings of Jesus in CBT 1 1 Introduction 3 Topics in Chapter 1 3 A historical view of spirituality, religion and psychotherapy 3 The development and dominance of cognitive therapy as a psychotherapy 4 The importance of Christianity in the West 6 The appreciation of the role of non ]specific factors in psychotherapy 6 Interest in the Buddhist technique of mindfulness 7 Findings relating religious adherence to positive mental and physical health 8 The growing respect for cultural and individual differences 9 The decline of logical positivism and the rise of postmodernism and social constructionist theory 9 The question of a logical connection between cognitive therapy and the teachings of Jesus 10 A general outline of the book 11 2 Introduction to Cognitive Therapy 12 Topics in Chapter 2 12 General aspects of psychotherapy 12 The basis of cognitive therapy 13 Beck s cognitive therapy 14 Rational emotive (behaviour) therapy 16 Schema therapy 21 Similarities amongst the three main schools of cognitive therapy 26 3 The Context of the Teachings of Jesus 27 Topics in Chapter 3 27 Why we should consider the teachings of Jesus 28 The records of Jesus the person 29 The location of the teachings of Jesus 30 The approach taken in this book towards the teachings of Jesus 31 The historical context of the New Testament 32 The social context of the New Testament 40 Stages in the early dissemination of the teachings of Jesus 47 Jesus own context 56 The written Gospels 56 Conclusion 59 4 What Did Jesus Teach: A Biblical Scholarship Approach 60 Topics in Chapter 4 60 The purpose of the chapter 60 Problems with direct use of the Gospels 61 Summary of factors influencing the content of the Gospels 65 The historical Jesus and the Jesus of faith (and the inerrancy of scripture) 66 Biblical scholarship: Tracking the words and deeds of Jesus 68 Conclusions about Jesus life, circumstances and characteristic behaviour 73 Jesus teachings as conveyed in words 75 The proverbial sayings (apophthegms/aphorisms) 79 Other kinds of sayings 82 Conclusion 82 5 Comparison of Jesus Teaching with Cognitive Therapy: Part I: Logic 84 Topics in Chapter 5 84 Content and process of thinking 84 The nature of logic 85 Logic in cognitive therapy 88 Logic in the teaching of Jesus 89 A method for comparing cognitive therapy with the teachings of Jesus 89 Jesus references to the use of logic 90 Conclusions 124 Comparison of Jesus logic with cognitive therapy 125 6 Comparison of Jesus Teaching with Cognitive Therapy: Part II: Content 127 Topics in Chapter 6 127 The content of cognitive therapy 127 The content of Jesus deeds 132 The content of Jesus teachings as reported by experts 135 The implicational content in Jesus teachings 147 Relationship of themes identified in the teachings of Jesus to cognitive therapy 169 Part 2 Approach to Using the Teachings of Jesus in CBT with Christians 177 7 A Schema ]Centred Model of Psychological Dysfunction 179 Topics in Chapter 7 179 A schema ]centred model of psychological dysfunction 179 Assessment 189 Assessment as therapy 194 Choosing the intervention 196 Using the results of assessment in conjunction with the rest of this book 198 8 New Life in Cognitive Therapy 200 Topics in Chapter 8 200 Reasons for seeking therapy 200 Ways of doing therapy 201 The need to address Christian issues in therapy 202 Preliminary considerations for doing cognitive therapy with Christians 203 Use of the scriptures in cognitive therapy 204 Ways of using scripture in cognitive therapy 206 Making choices 207 Commitment 209 Is it appropriate for a Christian to use logic? 212 Using logic like Jesus 216 Jesus view of logical errors 218 Values 223 Conclusion 224 9 Introduction to Content Interventions 226 Topics in Chapter 9 226 Overview of content intervention 226 Working with propositional content 227 Working with implicational content 234 Part 3 Resources for Using the Teachings of Jesus in CBT with Christians 239 10 Jesus and the Value of People 241 Topics in Chapter 10 241 Teachings relevant to the value of people 241 Social inclusion 242 Implicational work 247 Interpersonal considerations 250 The value of people 257 Loving 264 Conclusions 270 11 Relationship to God, the World and the Future 271 Topics in Chapter 11 271 God, the world and the future 271 Acceptance and trust versus fear and anxiety 272 Knowing the future 281 Spiritual versus material concerns 283 The relationship of Jesus teachings to the Jewish Law: Principle versus literal/old versus new 289 The inconsequential becomes greatly valuable 295 12 The Christian s Behaviour 297 Topics in Chapter 12 297 The relevance of Jesus teaching to the Christian s behaviour 297 Commitment, allegiance, readiness 298 What is important versus what is not important 304 Assumption of status 311 Asking for desires/praying 312 Prophecy, signs, logic 314 The relationships amongst intention, fantasy, action and responsibility 321 Conclusions 339 13 Following Jesus: The Ongoing Dialectic 341 Topics in Chapter 13 341 Dialectics in clinical psychology 341 Consistency between cognitive therapy and the teaching of Jesus 342 Assessment for treatment 343 Commitment to therapy 344 Using logic like Jesus 345 Values 346 Content interventions 347 Tensions in the content of Jesus teaching 350 Resolution 351 Appendix 1: Life History Questionnaire 352 Appendix 2: Christian Values Rating Scale 357 Appendix 3: Some Useful Sets of Commentaries 358 References 360 Index 366

About the Author

Michael L. Free is a Clinical Psychologist working with adults and adolescents in individual and couples therapy. He is a former lecturer in Clinical Psychology at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. He is the Author of Cognitive Therapy in Groups (Wiley-Blackwell, Second Edition, 2007).

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