Christian Counseling Certification Blog on Christian Society and Errors of Communism

Christian Ideal of Society

Ever since the Fall of humanity through Adam, a temporal realm came into existence.  This temporal realm created a vacuum for a temporal society.  Humanity came together to form a bond and collectively came together to form the first societies.   Christianity looks for a balance within this temporal society of the collective and individual good driven through charity and justice; Moral laws that bind humanity together in love but also fairness.  When this becomes imbalanced through hate, greed and theft, a rift appears in society and violence erupts

Christian Society is based on justice and charity. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification

Christianity does not promise a perfect material world in this temporal realm.  There is no utopia on earth but only in the next world.  Hence Christianity and its social ideals look for the best possible scenario within society that promotes freedom, liberty, and dignity to the human person through charity and justice.   The social virtue of justice driven by charity is the key to peace and prosperity.   When justice is denied, then violence emerges.

Understanding the importance of justice to the social order, Christianity believes that the state exists to serve the individual.  It exists to permit the individual in all his or her excellence to bear fruit for the common good.  The state exists to nurture the talents of society, protecting rights and promoting a common unity that it enhances through individual excellence.  The state furthermore, promotes a liberty among the people to express themselves to God unhindered.  It does not look to place one altar over another, but stands as a safeguard protecting the beliefs of all involved.

While a Christian state most excellently captures the moral laws of God, one has seen in past centuries, a corruption due to a misguided zeal to maintain a pure society.   This has led to religious persecution and a denial of the individual to develop within his or her own will.  While the state should look to protect the common good from individuals who pursue corruption, it is important to carefully balance the need of the many versus the need of the few.  Hence the question, when does one’s personal views become so public as to disrupt the public foundation of the society?  How should such diverse views be censored or debated?  How can the person’s inherent rights still be protected?  The best recent example of this would be gay marriage as an individual expression that is counter to the traditional norm of societal marriage between a man and woman.

So, the first purpose of this blog was to clearly point out the important ideals of a Christian society, while albeit within a pluralistic society, certain key foundations should exist that balance the individual and the collective through charity and justice.   The state protects the integrity of the whole but also protects the expression of the individual.

Capitalism

The social philosophers, Hobbes and Locke, pointed out that the moment individuals came together to form society, they entered into the social contract.  With that social contract, individuals became dependent upon each other, working together, sharing common needs and goals.  Within that contract, individuals gave up many individual rights to permit the function of society.   This meant individuals while using their talents for a wage and living, also contributed and shared with the overall community.

Capitalism rewards hard work and preserves personal property but like all systems if misused can become a system of corruption and greed.

 

Each individual, according to biblical principles, would earn according to his or her work.   With work, came personal property and excess funds for others.  Some would earn more than others based upon talent.  Naturally, this would lead to economic imbalances.  Some in society would excel more than others and hence become more prominent within the society.   As the industrial age emerged in Europe, the imbalance between the have’s and have not’s grew considerably.   Vast amounts of wealth and power were consolidated within the hands of steel barons.

Without Christian principles of charity and justice at play, many so called Christians sought wealth above justice and fairness.  Without the constraint of the virtue of justice, the imbalance became even greater.  The worker became victim to unjust wages, horrible working conditions, and long exhausting hours.  There was little care for the worker as a person with dignity nor the worker’s family.  While the worker became a mere cog in the wheel, the barons became excessively wealthy and with the excessive wealth, became politically more powerful.  This led to oppression.

Hence capitalism while adhering to the natural right of property and earning, like all temporal systems can become corrupted without Christian or even basic moral virtue.   Unhindered Capitalism can become a poison to society.  When monopolies occur and when individuals become more powerful than the masses, an imbalance can occur that can lead to social unrest.  Pope Leo XIII, in his encyclical “Rerum Novarum” or “New Things” looked deeply at the issues of unmonitored capitalism and how it could be a corruptive agent against society.

During the late 19th Century, Leo saw the corruption within factories and the mistreatment of the worker.  He identified the need of balance within the state to protect the individual worker from the collective demands of the industry.  Again, he looked to balance the needs of the many and the need of the few, or in some cases, one, who owned the factory.  He reminded everyone that justice demands that the worker utilize his talents and time to benefit the employer, but the employer in turn, must compensate the worker fairly.  Of course, the employer will  have more wealth than the worker.  This is the nature of capitalism.  Some have more than others based upon talents or ambition or authority, but all receive a just amount for their particular talent and place.  An equal dignity is given to everyone in the process of their role and application of it.

When capitalism is devoid of state regulation and moral virtue, but instead driven by atheistic materialism and greed, then capitalism can become an economic system that can be enslave the worker.

Communism

Communism was an adverse reaction to the abuses of capitalism.  Karl Marx, the founder of Socialist Doctrine, expounded in his Communist Manifesto, the need for a new social system.  The idea of communism preached a utopia for the disenfranchised.  It became quickly attractive to the poor and poverty stricken and it pointed out the many abuses of capitalism.  Marx offered a social utopia where everyone shared their talents and no one had more or less but all equally benefited.

Marx taught that society was evolving towards a a classless world where everyone was equal.  Authority, power, and wealth would have no meaning in this new world.  Since ages ago, the master and slave, lord and serf, and now baron and worker were all phases of domination of one class over the other but merely adapting to new titles.  Through conflict and revolution, Marx believed a new society would give birth to a communal society void of private property.  Instead of the state existing to serve the person, the person would exist to serve the state, but through this service, all would retain equality.

Of course, within this philosophy was a materialist belief that this world can be perfect.  Communism was atheistic in belief and denied God.  It saw religion as an “opiate of the people”. Marx saw the church, its moral laws and structures as ways of control, no better than the steel barons.   The belief in a world that was not materialist or temporal was way to keep individuals occupied, while others accumulated power and wealth.

Communism promises equality for all but in reality leads to human slavery to the state.

 

Using the abuses of the state, industries and church as a rallying cry, he utilized envy and resentment as a tool to instill in the workers a revolution.  King, Tsar, Pope, or employer became seen as oppressor.  With a purely materialistic mindset, this philosophy would spread across Europe and the world, infecting millions into the communist cause.   With its implementation in Russia in bloody revolution in 1917, communism would find its home base and spread its errors throughout the world.

Within communism, personal property was stripped of individuals.  The individual became property of the state and creating a perfect utopia.  Personal choice, personal belief or any religious ideas that were contrary to the envisioned goal of the state became counter productive and eliminated.  This led to massive persecutions of anyone who did not fit the proposed social outline.  Ultimately, the failed experiment of communism could not sustain itself.

The basic tenets of human nature look at work and reward.  If one works harder or has greater ideas, then they reap the award, but when this type of innovation is not rewarded, but equally distributed, then the drive for personal gain is prevented.   In Russia alone, many were forced to a new servitude on state farms where those who worked harder were given the same as those who did not.

Soon, a new slavery emerged, where the illusion of communism became evident.   A top the communist party, sat the new barons and kings, under the guise of directors for the common good.  This exposure was illustrated in Orwell’s “Animal Farm” where the animals on the farm are made to believe their hard toil is for the common good, while the communist pigs engorge themselves upon the work of the other animals.

In essence, Communism strips the human being of all personal dignity under the false direction of a greater common good that ultimately falls upon itself because it refuses to reward creativity and hard work.  Coupled with its materialist and atheistic tenets, it leads to a system more oppressive than unregulated capitalism.  This is exactly what Pope Leo XIII had warned.  He warned everyone of the pitfall of both systems but the overtly more dangerous outcomes of a communist regime.  His words proved to be prophetic under the rules of Lenin and Stalin and subsequent communist leaders throughout the world.

Christian Response

After the words of Leo, came the words of Pope Pius XI in his encyclical “Divini Redemptoris” on Atheistic Communism in 1937..   In it, Pius reiterated the errors of communism made by his predecessor regarding communism.  He pointed out that the right to private property and accumulation of wealth is within the dignity of the human person and that the state exists to help the individual progress.   He listed the numerous errors that are also found in a materialistic society that promises only material things in a fallen world.   Pius reminded everyone that no utopia promised by the communists can exist in a fallen world.  He pointed out instead that humanity can only attempt to make the most just society on earth by emulating Christ, moral virtue but especially charity and justice.

Pope Leo XIII explained the balance of a Christian society between Communism and Capitalism and both their own inherent errors

 

Pius called for a regulated capitalism where a balance existed between the needs of the many and the needs of the individual.  He reminded workers and employers of the reciprocal justice that they owed each other.  He called for those within Christian ministry to preach the Gospel to the workers and re-Christianize the world.  He called for ministers equipped to battle the lies of the communists and to preach what true justice demands.

Pius reminded the State itself, its grave importance in maintaining a harmony between the individual and the collective.  He supported regulations that promoted fair and just working wages, conditions and hours.   Through charity and justice, he felt the world could present a more Christian society that granted a more sound balance and economic system.

Despite the pleads, a more secular world was deceived by communism.  After the Second World War, Stalin masterfully played the West and divided the world between free capitalistic societies and enslaved communist societies.  Russia continued to spread its errors through the aftermath of World War II leading to the decades long Cold War which on numerous occasions brought the world to the verge of nuclear annihilation.

Communism would spread to Latin America, South East Asia and China.  To this day, China remains an oppressor to freedom, with the re-emergence of Russia, not as a communist state, but nonetheless a authoritarian state with communist DNA still flowing through its leader, Putin.

Christians must respond as Pius and Leo pointed out with social action that promotes justice and charity in society at all of its levels.  Society within Christian teaching is first and foremost at its cellular level within the family.  The family is the key to society.  A family that follows Christ and His laws is able to give to society a gift of charity and justice. Springing forth from the family, these virtues can boost the work place and secular venues in a shared vision of mutual gain.

Also of great importance is prayer.  Prayer for a better society that reflects the Natural Law and laws of Christ is something that a Christian should remember everyday.  In Catholicism, Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 warned the world of communism and the errors Russia would spread.  She pleaded with the world to find repentance with God and to prayer the Rosary.

There is no perfect society in this fallen world, but we can try to make it as best as we can despite our own inherent weaknesses and sin.  It is through a society based on Natural Law and Christ that can give humanity its best chance.  This society will look to balance the needs of the one and collective but also look to serve the individual instead of repressing the him or her.  This society must base itself on charity and justice.  Without these two social virtues, no system or society can thrive.

Christian Counseling Perspectives

As Christian Counselors it is important to remind the distraught or financially strained that God has a plan.  One cannot be tempted in business to take illegal shortcuts or use other human beings as a means to an end.  Individuals who are suffering financially should look for guidance in the poverty of Christ as a way of simplicity.  Christ Himself worked an honest day work as a carpenter with His father St. Joseph to serve as an example of what it means to work and share one’s talents.  In Christ, there was no envy of others who made more money, but always charity and respect with justice to all.

Communism looks to stoke jealousy in the poor and to lead them to a far more dangerous path that strips one of property and earnings, while unregulated capitalism uses the human person as a means to an end.   Christian Counselors need to guide the disenfranchised down the middle road and to always work hard, be fair and keep faith in Christ in all financial troubles.

If you would like to learn more about AIHCP’s  Christian Counseling Certification, then please review the program and see it if matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.

Other Resources

Divini Redemptoris by Pius XI.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo XIII

 

 

Christian Counseling Certification Blog on Divorce and Marriage Ministry

Marriage is the foundation stone of society.  Through the social contract, couples come together and bring forth future generations within the bounds of society.  Strong family units produce strong individuals in the society who can benefit society with their unique talents.

God elevated this union beyond the natural order to a supernatural contract and oath to each other.  He sanctified it in the Garden of Eden and elevated it through the words of Christ that the union can never be broken unless fear of adultery.  Scripture proclaims, a man shall leave his mother and take on another and both will become one and in the epistles, Paul teaches that the love between husband and wife is like that of Christ and the Church.

Christian marriage is a spiritual vow that transcends the natural contract of marriage.

 

With such strong words from Christ, scripture, and Paul, the foundations for Christian marriage were laid.  Within Catholic and Orthodox circles, it was a sacrament, while in Protestant circles it was in the very least a sacred obligation.   Society has attempted to weaken this natural and supernatural building rock of society.  Divorce, same sex marriage, and polygamy all look to weaken the institution and society itself.  The attempt to separate the supernatural element instilled by God to a merely natural contract is on display.

With the readiness of divorce, infidelity plays no small penalty for the secular mind.  Divorce rips apart family units and leaves many children left without strong guidance to help create a better society.  The attack on the family has already begun and continues to rage.

In the midst of such chaos, the Christian Counselor is left with many divorced Christians and individuals seeking solace and wholeness.  Not only do these individuals suffer from the initial loss of a spouse, but they also suffer from a variety of secondary losses, including children, pets, possessions, income and new integration into new life styles.

Divorce sometimes is a reality to the Christian, albeit an unwanted one.  Many Christians may feel marked and ashamed with such titles within their own community and family structure.  They may feel as if they failed in some way.  Other Christians may remarry and feel as if black sheep for taking upon another spouse.  In Catholic and Orthodox churches, remarriage without annulment is forbidden.   This leads to a whole new type of ministry.  Hence, the divorced and those who decide to remarry within Christianity represent a large group of the displaced within the faith.  While in Protestantism, remarriage is permissible for due reason of adultery, it still creates issues with blended homes and still the over all loss of the original marriage.

Within Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the words of Christ echo strongly that no-one may ever remarry.  The exception clause within Matthew is not regarded as a license to remarry.  Only in Matthew is it mentioned and it never again is mentioned in the Epistles.  Many biblical scholars look at the interpretation, translation and the fact it was targeted to only the Jewish community to mean something different.  This leaves the Catholic and Orthodox church with many remarried couples that can become a pastoral concern.

Christian Counselors need to understand their plight.  Pope Francis recently wrote at length the pastoral concerns of these “black sheep”.   While many may marry as if they are dating, there are some who have unjustly been dealt.  Pope Francis pointed this out in his encyclical on the “Joy of Love” where he looks at the emergency pastoral issue within the Catholic Church.  He asked some very critical questions regarding the fate of these couples.  While remaining faithful to Christ’s words, he still pondered about those who remarry due to abuse, or those who were left with nothing after a spouse totally rejected them.  He also looked at the annulments that were not properly administered due to finance or local corruption within the tribunal.

Francis pointed out that many couples who remarried have moved on to a second relationship and now have grandchildren from this union.  They have remained faithful, albeit, outside the grace of the sacrament.   Pastorally, how does one deal with such families?  Each situation requires careful and deliberate reflection between confessor and couple with the highest regards for the Eucharist.

It is important to note for those not familiar with Catholic doctrine that an annulment is based on theology that centers around a vow.  A vow is a free choice with knowledge and understanding of the commitment.  When a vow is exchanged between a man and woman it is seen as binding when conditions certain conditions are met.  If certain conditions or secrets or distress are later discovered, then a marriage can be seen as never existing.  One example includes being forced to marry someone and not possessing complete autonomy in the decision.  Another example is a secret regarding the individual.  Maybe the individual was cheating before the vow and had no intention of remaining faithful.  Maybe the person lied about being baptized.  Maybe the person hid a past life of murder, abuse and other criminal activity.  Maybe the person lied about ability to have children or desire to have children.  The primary point is the issue is an “a priori” problem that was unknown before the vow.   Fortunately, many more annulments are issued more than once before within the Church.  Investigations can discover these things.

However, after the fact offenses or failures of a spouse do not fall under the guise of an annulment.   Infidelity that is not planned or a simple mistake does not invalidate a vow.  This does not mean one cannot civilly divorce, but within the interpretation of the Gospels, one cannot remarry afterwards, or they would as Christ points out, find themselves in adultery.  Many divorce for simpler reasons such as family or finance.  The generation of divorce is a replacement generation not a fix it generation.

Within Protestant theology, one may remarry over grave reasons, but this has even led to individuals thinking if they commit a grave offense, then they can become freed from a contract.  Many Protestant circles even with their exception clause have become more liberal in permitting divorce within their congregations.

These issues have led to more divorce within Christianity and has created a large pastoral issue for both Catholic and Protestant circles.  While the world mirrors a secular version of marriage, it is up to Christian communities to commit to the values of Christ regarding marriage.  It is up to Christian communities to promote the permanence of the Christian vow.

Prayer is essential for any couple. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification

 

Prior to marriage, Christian Counselors, pastors and family can help young couples discover the importance of marriage and the serious nature of the vow.  Pre-Cana is also an excellent way to learn about family issues from other couples, as well as teach young couples the unglamorous aspects of marriage.  Learning to prayer together and attend liturgy and service together is an important step in engagement.  The young couple needs to investigate and learn about each other.  They need to realize that marriage is also a spiritual vocation that is not about just this world, but helping each other to reach the next world.  It is a joint vocational marriage to hold each accountable to Christ.

Prayer and God must remain in the family for it to succeed.  The modern war on the family has attempted to strip Christ from marriage.  It important then that Christians re-introduce Christ to marriage and share the beauty of Christian marriage to the world.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.

Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program Blog on Essential Oils

Essential oils play a large role in alternative and medicine.  They can help heal and also prevent a variety of health issues.  It is however important to always remember to consult with your primary physician before utilizing any health product.  Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialists can also help guide one down the safe and most beneficial path.

There are numerous essential oils with health benefits. Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program

 

The article, “What Are Essential Oils? A Complete Guide on Aromatherapy and Its Potential Health Benefits” by Lauren Bedosky looks at what essential oils are and their benefits.  She states,

“Essential oils are everywhere. These potent, fragrant plant extracts have made their way into lotions, household cleaners, massage treatments, and even integrative complementary therapy to help manage cancer symptoms.  Their purported benefits are also wide ranging, from improving sleep and decreasing anxiety, to lowering pain and easing headaches, to taming a queasy stomach and fostering deeper relaxation.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Healthcare Specialist Program and see if it meets your academic needs.  Nurses and other qualified professionals can earn a four year certification by completing the required online and independent study courses

 

Grief Counseling Certification Blog on Depression and Diagnosis/Treatment Obstacles

Individuals with Major Depressive Disorder have more to deal with other issues than just the symptoms.  There are numerous steps and follow ups and other administrative issues to deal with even before they can receive treatment itself.  It can take a little time before everything is set up and a plan of action is ready to be utilized.  Numerous obstacles can make it difficult for some to even get a proper diagnosis and treatment.  This is unfortunate situation for many suffering with depression.

Administrative and insurance issues can cause lack of treatment for many suffering from depression. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification

 

The article, “Top 8 Issues in Major Depressive Disorder” by Sidney Zisook takes a closer look at issues regarding diagnosis and the process of dealing with depression from a professional standpoint.  She states,

 

 

“In summary, while there has been an explosion of knowledge in the neuroscientific basis of mental disorders, genomics, neuroimaging and neuropsychology, there remains considerable room for growth in the way we provide equitable access to evidence-based treatments; define and diagnose MDD; create evidence-informed first- and next-step, personalized treatment decisions; conceptualize TRD and consider replacing or supplementing it with DTD; develop novel interventions that provide options for better tolerated, more effective, more sustainable treatments; and more effectively train future clinicians to competently employ a broader spectrum of evidence-based treatments than the current norm; and shift the culture of medicine to one that prioritizes optimizing our own wellness and mental health.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it matches your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling

Forensic Nursing Certification Blog on SANE Nursing

Interesting and closer look at the job and work of a SANE nurse.  SANE nurses play an important role in helping sexually assaulted victims find justice through immediate care and collection of evidence.  SANE nurses are excellent candidates for Forensic Nursing Certification.

SANE nurses make excellent candidates for Forensic Nurses. Please also review AIHCP’s Forensic Nursing Certification

 

The article, “What it’s Like To Work as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE)” by Chaunie Brusie takes a closer look at the importance of SANE nurses.  She states,

“On top of the injustices she sees for victims, Helmbrecht adds that she struggles with battling common assumptions the general public has about sexual assault and domestic violence. For instance, comments like, “Why don’t they just leave if the abuse is so bad?” blame the victim and overlook the reality that the most dangerous time for a victim of intimate partner violence is when a decision has been made to leave. ”

To review the entire article, please click here

 

Please also review AIHCP’s Forensic Nursing Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals and nurses seeking a four year certification in Forensic Nursing

 

Christian Counseling Certification Blog on Alien Life and Alien Encounter

Within Christianity, the belief that God created two sentient type of creatures, namely angels and humans is universal.   By sentient, one infers that an individual is made in the image and likeness of God in that the individual or species has an intellect and will that can reason beyond physical problems but actually acknowledge the issue of existence itself.  In this understanding of to exist or not to exist, sentience allows one to truly understand good and evil and to also contemplate a higher power.

This is far more than mere solving of puzzles as one can see in primates or dolphins, but realizing the very essence of “to be or not to be”.   Despite the intelligence of many animals and emotional ranges, animals such as primates or dolphins do not write about existence itself.   Animals merely exist.  Abstract concepts of existence itself and the choice to adhere or not adhere to moral principles are of a higher cognitive level, which is referred to sentience.   Sentience makes one made in the image and likeness of God.  It gives one knowledge, choice, and self awareness.  It is spiritual in nature, but many  non sentient things can have spirit, but it is the spiritual qualities of humanity and the angels that make them separate from other creation.

Is one to conclude then that only angels and human beings are sentient?  From observation, no other creature on Earth possesses the qualities of sentience.  While many creatures on Earth display amazing intelligence, they do not illustrate sentience.  As a Christian, is it then fair to say only human beings and angels are sentient?

While it has yet to be proven or at least acknowledged, the limitless nature of the universe ultimately has other life.  Is some of this life sentient?  One cannot answer but one cannot also limit God’s creative power to the creation of other sentient life forms.   With the creation of other sentient life forms as a possibility, speculative theology looks at the role of Christ and His redemptive act coincides with other alien sentient beings.

The cosmos is so vast that we cannot limit God’s creation.

 

Once asked regarding what he would do if he met an alien, Pope Francis said he would offer baptism and the message of Christ.  This point may very well be true, but the appearance of another sentient life form offers many challenges and questions to Christian theology.   For some, aliens offer no crisis of faith to the Christian, while to others, it may very well make them doubt the universal importance of humanity in the cosmos and reduce the Christian faith to just a religion of a particular planet.

I would like to point out a few ideas that may reassure believing Christians that alien life is not necessarily detrimental to the message of Christ.  In fact, Christian theology can exist side by with other sentient life.

First, humanity exists within a temporal and fallen sphere.  Hence due to the sin of Adam, humanity fell from the grace of God and the protection of the Garden of Eden.  Humanity was thrust into a world of suffering, death and loss.   It is possible, that other sentient life has been created before and could be created after humanity.  Would this sentient form of life be immune from the sin of Adam since they are not human?  Angels and humanity were judged separately.  So if sentient life does exist in the universe, it could very well be immune from the temporal fall.  They very well may have “passed” their test.  If not,  did this form of sentient life also incur the sin of Adam or their “own sin”.   In this case, one of two options emerge.  First, Christ’s death was for all temporal existence, or Christ’s death was just for humanity, and the Trinity has other plans for the redemption of other fallen sentient beings.

Second, other sentient life forms will have a different form of revelation.  Revelation via scripture is for humanity and through the special incarnation of the Son.  Alien life may have a very different form of revelation.  This does not mean it is a false creed, but a different form of revelation from the Trinity.  It would be difficult to determine if the alien life adhered to a false creed or the universal creed found via the Trinity.  It would take investigation.   Aliens could also very well be atheistic.  One merely needs to look at the variety of false “isms” on Earth.  A larger collection of false “isms” could exist in other sentient cultures as well.

What do we make of alien encounters? Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification

 

Hence the existence of aliens does not harm the faith of a Christian, but in fact opens one to the potential larger plan of God.  It again is only speculative but theologians should be prepared to try to re-evaluate Christianity under the lens of the possibility of alien life and how the faith would respond to such an event.

An important aspect to note.  One philosophy which has many heretical aspects are the ancient alien theories when applied to Scripture.  Assuming interventions and stories about God and angels were in actuality an alien encounter.  When these stories in Scripture are interpreted by ancient alien theories to dismiss the supernatural and replace it with the paranormal, Christians must dismiss those notions.  Did aliens appear in the past?  It is possible, but such stories cannot be used to confuse God’s communication with humanity with paranormal speculation.

As for those who are faced with alien encounters, counseling, especially Christian Counseling must approach the individual carefully.  The individual may be psychotic, on drugs, or not mentally well.  This is why it is important to refer anyone with such encounters to a professional counselor who can better attest if someone is suffering from delusion or a true event.

In such events as well, Christian theology teaches the possibility of demonic influence under the guise of alien presence.   Under such theories, the alien presence shares false ideas that weaken the faith, or push the faithful to doubt the importance of Christ.  Obviously it is very difficult to ascertain what is occurring to the individual when paranormal or supernatural events occur and this is why it is important to refer an individual to appropriate mental health professionals.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.

 

 

 

Pastoral Thanatology Certification Article on Spiritual Care of Patient

Spirituality is part of everyone.  The whole person, mental and physical.  While spirituality is more individual than social, many doctors do not give the holistic care to the entire being of the patient.  Doctor sometimes focus more on the body, recovery and failure based on life or death.  Many times the pastoral and spiritual issues are not identified.  The patient has multiple needs and even for the non religious, many have spiritual needs or at least spiritual acknowledgement during grief and loss during care.

Many patients would like a more pastoral approach in healthcare. Please also review AIHCP’s Pastoral Thanatology Certification

 

The article, “Does spirituality belong at the doctor’s office?” by Jen Rose Smith takes a closer look for the need of pastoral and spiritual care of patients.  She states,

“In fact, many patients would like to discuss spiritual matters with their health care providers: One study found that 83% of patients want physicians to ask about their spiritual beliefs, especially when they’re facing life-threatening illness, serious medical conditions and bereavement. “A high percentage of people, if they’re in the hospital for a physical illness, would like to talk to their physician about spiritual matters and have a conversation,” said Dr. John Graham, president and CEO of the Institute for Spirituality and Health at the Texas Medical Center, a cosponsor of this month’s conference.”
To read the entire article, please click here
Please also review AIHCP’s Pastoral Thanatology Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Pastoral Thanatology

Grief Counseling Certification Blog on the Necessity of Mourning

Grief is part of  life.  As long as love and loss exist, grief will exist.  The process of grief is an important part of growing and adjusting.  It is not something that is to be rushed, ignored, or not valued.  While it is an unpleasant part of life, the grieving process helps one heal and learn to live and adjust to the loss.  Grief does not go away but one learns to live with it and the body and the mind must go through the process of grieving to properly adjust.

Grieving is a natural part of life. Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it meets your goals

 

The article, “Feeling Pressure to Grow from Grief” from “What’s Your Grief” takes a closer look at the importance of the grieving process.  The article states,

“What can be missed is recognizing grief as a handbrake for the motion of life. It is an important and natural evolutionary force telling you to let yourself be, to sit, to grieve, to mourn. This leap to meaning can be an attempt to bypass the reality of loss.”

To review the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Grief Counseling.

Holistic and Integrative Specialist Program Blog on Holistic Therapy

Holistic approaches to health include an entire mind and body approach.  These approaches look for less intrusive ways to resolve health issues both acute and chronic.  Holistic psychotherapy is another type of holistic care that looks to help individuals overcome trauma and anxiety

Holistic therapies treat the whole person. Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Specialist Program

 

The article, “What Is Holistic Psychotherapy?” by Ashley Olivine looks closer at the nature of Holistic psychotherapy and how it works.  She states,

“Holistic psychotherapy is a type of talk therapy that is based on the ideas of holistic psychology that the biological, psychological, and sociocultural components of each person come together to form the whole person. With this approach, all areas of a person and their life are considered and treated together.  The idea behind this humanistic approach is that the individual pieces that make up each person cannot be separated. The holistic mind-body relationship includes the physical body interacting with the external environment, and the role of the brain in processing and interacting with the physical body and external environment.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Holistic and Integrative Specialist Program.  Qualified nurses and healthcare professionals can earn a four year certification by completing the required independent study courses.  The program is online and open enrollment.

 

Spiritual Counseling Certification Blog on Spirituality and Health

Spirituality and a healthy life style coincide.   Many who do not have a faith or religion may seem skeptical but the reality is when one places merit in a higher system beyond oneself, then one can find a variety of physical, emotional and spiritual benefits.  Those who belong to a religion, or aspire to a certain individual spiritual path all can find the same benefits for overall health.  Even those who follow no creed or spirituality can find value if they place themselves under a code or meaning of life itself.   However, in this blog, we will only deal with spirituality itself.

In defining spirituality, this blog defines it as a personal and individual journey of any type of faith or metaphysical belief.  Those who are also religious and follow a code also have their own unique spirituality but are also religious in nature.  Religious individuals may not be very spiritual but socially active in their church or community or they may be very spiritually privately and also very religious and faithful to an established dogmatic code.   All of these religious and spiritual journeys while unique all aid in a better out look in life itself and can help with physical, mental and emotional help.  Some individuals may be only spiritual or religious, while others may possess both, but ultimately, the tying to a higher belief system beyond oneself has multiple benefits.

Spirituality is an important factor to health. Please also review AIHCP’s Spiritual Counseling Certification

 

Frankl, a holocaust survivor remarked that suffering without meaning is unbearable, but once meaning is given, suffering can transcend.  In such a fallen world, meaning is given to suffering when one is spiritual or connects to a code higher than oneself.  Erick Erickson also emphasized the importance of spiritual development as a step in life as well its importance with dying.  Those dying who attribute to a higher end than themselves can find more meaning in their suffering, as well as can activate within the body, the ability to heal itself in some cases.  Recovery itself has a greater ability to occur.  This is not to dismiss true miracles, but there is a true mental connection between mind and body for those with positive mindsets and their ultimate recovery.

Spirituality and overall health are deeply connected not only when sick but throughout life itself.  The connection to a higher code or higher being or deeper connection can be very beneficial for people on many fronts.

On the outset, a higher meaning in something, leads to a better out look on life.   Behind life is meaning and that meaning can guide one spiritually in understanding reality.  Greater happiness and peace can come to individuals who have a paradigm structure of existence.  Although those paradigms can be challenged when disaster strikes and cause world view challenges, many fall back on their faith, beliefs, or spirituality and find solace.   Hence, spirituality is able to help individuals be more happy with life itself due to an overall direction and understanding of it, as well as a system to deal with stressors and problems.

For many, this spirituality enhances social connections and helps one improve existing relationships.  Spirituality helps one see the needs of others and enhances compassion and gratitude in life.  It helps prevent selfishness and self absorption and focuses on creating an overall balance in life.  This naturally leads to a multitude of life long benefits.

The immune system is strengthened when one exists in a positive mindset.  While multiple factors play into health, one aspect is spirituality.  The body is better able to function when in higher spirits and able to recover and heal.  Meditation and mindfulness are all spiritual practices that can ease the body and allow the immune system to function without additional strain and also release the necessary hormones for self healing.

Spirituality can also help prevent possible depression.  With deeper connections in life, one is more attune with self and balanced.  Hence spirituality can help prevent or minimize depression.  It can also help one who is experiencing depression.  Again many factors come into play, but the positive nature of spiritual life can be critical to mental health.

A connection to something-whether deity, belief, social view or type of paradigm is important to life meaning and also health itself

 

Obviously spiritual people or individuals at least connected to a higher code than themselves have a unique way to view the world and understand it.  The importance is not so much whether the world view is correct or incorrect but that the person believes it.  This belief has potential to unlock various healing abilities in the body as well as help the person face everyday problems.   Everyone experiences stress but how one deals and copes with stress is key.  Spiritual individuals have a better success rate of dealing with stress due to world view and belief.  This in turn leads to a calmer life that does not activate the body’s stress response.  With the body not in fight or flight mode or experiencing chronic stress, there are better healthy outcomes in regards to sleep, heart health, and blood pressure.  Stress kills but spirituality can limit the dangerous effects of unneeded stress.

While there are numerous factors to health itself, one cannot dismiss the importance of spirituality and merely toss it to the side.  Life meaning is key to direction in life and maintaining an overall balance in life itself. Connection to something more than oneself and its benefits are no secret.   For the most part, a healthy spiritual life or connection to something bigger than oneself is essential for a better world view and healthier physical, mental and emotional life.

Please also review AIHCP’s Spiritual Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Spiritual Counseling.

AIHCP also offers a Christian Counseling Certification.

 

Related links to spirituality and health

5 Physical Health Benefits of Spirituality” by Rachelle Williams.

The role of spirituality in health care” by Christina Puchalski