CBT and Christianity Strategies and Resources for Reconciling Faith in Therapy

Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2015-09-28
Publisher(s): Wiley-Blackwell
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CBT and Christianity offers CT therapists an authoritative, practical, and comprehensive resource for counseling clients with an allegiance to the Christian faith.


  • Offers an enhancement of mainstream cognitive therapy techniques for therapists working with thoughtful people with an allegiance to the Christian faith
  • Represents a novel approach to CBT through the use of the teachings of Jesus
  • Features an innovative model for assessment and the adaptations of schema-focused approaches
  • Presents resources that are ready-to-use and easily adapted by practicing therapists

Author Biography

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).

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

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