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Let a man thoroughly examine himself!

"Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD"
Lam 3:40 (NIV)

How does the professional Christian counseling practitioner diagnose a clients problem(s) with skill and accuracy? How do we know if the problem is emotional, psychological, physical or spiritual? Do the problems warrant a "full-blown" mental disorder? What is a mental disorder? Does mental illness really exist? How do we not only diagnose the individual, but how do we also treat him/her? What does the Bible say about mental illness, emotional stability and responsibility? These are significant questions we need to consider.

Research psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey says that about 5% of those who come to a psychiatrist are people with organic brain disease, about 75% are people with problems of living, and the other 20% "will require closer examination to make a final judgment". Torrey suggests that the majority (at least 75%) of those who come to a psychiatrist actually need to be educated in how to live. They do not need to receive treatment. Relating this to scripture suggests the person to be responsible and obedient to living the Word of God.

George Albee, past president of the American Psychological Association, says: "The unvarnished fact is that most of the emotional problems do not belong in the category of disease." Authors of "The Madness Establishment" state: It is clear that out of the tens of millions of individuals whom NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health) officials and others estimate need psychiatric care, only a tiny minority suffer from problems that most authorities would agree constitute "mental diseases".

Therefore, most people seeking help need the kind of counsel in which the Bible excels: how to live, how to relate to others, how to find meaning in life, how to know God, and how to become the kind of person God wants.