My friend and colleague Mike McFee (Eastern University) and I recently had an article published in the latest edition of the Journal of Psychology & Christianity (v. 30, pp 317-328). In it we tried to tackle how someone from a Christian Psychology perspective might interact with Emotion-Focused Therapy, a popular treatment protocol.
Here’s how we started our paper,
Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is a rapidly growing treatment system offering empirically based treatment for couples and families. As with many current secular theories of psychology, EFT is embedded in humanistic assumptions which propose a few challenges to the Christian practitioner…. Using the methodology of Eric Johnson…this essay explores the practices of translating EFT into a Christian Psychology.
Next we identify a problem for counselors. We say that being christian and thinking christianly is supposed to influence all that we do. But, the truth is much of what goes on in Christian counseling doesn’t look that much different from counseling from markedly different ideologies. Both are compassionate and use similar techniques. The problem isn’t always bad integration but that we haven’t defined well the various levels of translation between two languages (i.e., humanistic founded EFT and Christian psychology).
The rest of the essay explores the two languages and 3 kinds of translation possibilities depending on the context and need, rather than is a one-size-fits-all approach. We conclude with a case example and actual dialog to show one kind of translation work.
What are the 3 kinds of translation? You’ll have to read if you want to know? There has to be SOME mystery, right?