Psychiatrists are medical doctors dealing with malfunctions in the brain. Psychologists normally deal with behavioral problems. Is there a biblical approach to psychiatry?
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From a layman's perspective, I would say that psychiatry could be used in conjunction with Biblical counseling by providing unique, complementary insights from its subject area. Biblical expertise would provide an overall frame of reference in which psychiatric knowledge could be applied, covering such subjects as the nature of both God and humans (including the fact that, apart from God, humans are not fundamentally "good", and are incapable of achieving moral or behavioral perfection through their own effort); the power of faith in Christ, prayer, and the Holy Spirit to transform human nature; and also practical advice for day-to-day interactions with others. Psychiatry would contribute the academic study of psychology and of the workings of the human mind, as well as medical knowledge of the means by which chemical substances affect the brain and can influence behavior, and the ways in which various pharmaceutical compounds work with the body chemistry in the achievement of desired behavioral results.
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