Is there a connection between our faith and psychiatry? As a Christian psychiatrist, I wrestled with this question for many years. I read books from various Christian psychiatrists and participated in academic research programs. My search came to a resting point when I read two influential CCEF books: How People Change and Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands. These books transformed the way I viewed mental health, especially from the eastern context of India. CCEF Journal of Biblical Counseling articles changed my theology. I started using them in my counseling practice in the mission hospital. In the summer of 2014 Mike Emlet and Ed Welch traveled to India and spoke at our first ever national conference on mental health and the Christian response.
Through their writings and teachings, CCEF helped me form a new vision of “Church and Mental Health”. I found that church can be a healing community because we are not simply dealing with someone who is mentally ill, but we are caring for a person who is created in God’s image. With only 3,500 psychiatrists for the 1.3 billion people of India, we are short of 30 thousand mental health workers at present. Millions of people have no access to help. We are working to address this problem with local churches and pastors through at Emmanuel Hospital Association and the Biblical Counseling Trust of India.
Dr. Raja Paulraj,
Psychiatrist and Consultant for Biblical Counseling Trust of India
We want to hear from you, too. As you reflect on the ways that God is impacting your life, please write to us at [email protected].