Journal Article Review

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Journal Article Review: Use of Prayer and Scripture in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy


In Use of Prayer and Scripture in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, published in the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 2007, Siang-Yang Tan discusses how the appropriate use of prayer and Scripture can be integrated into cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most empirically supported treatments available for a wide variety of psychological disorders (Tan, 2007, p. 101). The article discusses the two component of mindfulness, in which the first component engages self-guidance concentration and the second component engages implementing a meticulous direction that is distinguish by interest.

Tan describes the key features for the appropriate use of prayer in a Biblical Christian approach to CBT. The key features include agape love; unresolved past issues; spiritual meaning; the use of biblical truth; Holy Spirit’s ministering in bringing about healing; utilizing community resources; use techniques that are biblical; look at research before making conclusions about the superiority of CBT (Tan, 2007, p. 102).

Tan also addresses that a Christian approach does not mean that prayer and scripture must be used in every session. Confession, forgiveness and/or silence are other interventions that can be used. Tan notes that not all clients will feel comfortable using spiritual resources as part of their therapy; however, if they agree to Christian CBT approach they must give informed consent. The use of prayer and scripture may not be appropriate with every client.

In 1992, Tan developed the seven steps for inner healing prayer. Prayer is a meaningful way of communicating with God. The steps for inner healing are: begin in prayer, use relaxation techniques, recall painful past events, ask the Holy Spirit to minister to client, wait upon the Lord to minister to client, close in prayer, discuss prayer experience (Tan, 2007, p. 104)....