Re: Mixing Therapy and Preaching
Date: August 26, 2010 03:21AM
It's tricky - it depends a lot on the laws in your jurisdiction and the interpretation of words like "psychotherapy", "mental health treatment" and so on, plus how strictly these laws are enforced. In my jurisdiction they are only just now beginning to regulate psychotherapy and it's still unclear what exactly regulation will look like.
If you are in an area with no regulation, then probably in a strictly technical legal sense there is nothing to stop a Bible study teacher from doing some sort of psychotherapy. That doesn't make it OK. I'd say it's a major red flag. A responsible pastor would discreetly suggest that someone look into seeing a qualified mental health professional, not make on-the-fly diagnoses in the middle of class.
I suggest doing some research on what's allowed in your area. If you think your pastor is a basically decent person but doesn't quite realize what they are doing, perhaps have a quiet word with them about it. Their reaction will tell you a lot about the sort of person you are dealing with.