I don’t need therapy…I Pray!
Long before becoming interested in psychology, I have been fascinated by the notion that all issues and problems can be resolve via prayer alone. In other words, it is as if (from some believers – not all) that to pray for something is a stand alone action. Nothing else required. I prayed….now I wait. This is especially true when you begin to talk about therapy! It is as if prayer and counseling cannot compliment one another; but have to exist as polar opposites within the same space!
For example; we pray for our child to get better – and take them to the doctor. We pray that we get home safely in the rain – and drive more cautiously. We pray that a family is able to cope with the death of a loved one – but yet provide gifts and words of support. And yet, when it comes to coping with stress, abusive relationships, marital distress, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and/or family dysfunction – we choose to pray about it. And that is great! But what then, or shall I say, what else. What other proactive means of problem solving are you going to put in place to facilitate your prayers? Maybe a better question is “What is it about the ability to pray for something causes the door to close on therapy as a viable option?”
Well, I do believe that there are historical components that impact seeking out services (especially amongst people of color). I have specifically found that although more African Americans are coming to therapy, they still struggle with embracing the process – at least initially. But in fairness to people of all races, ages, ethnicities, gender, sexual orientation, and abilities; I would admit that change is difficult. As much as we can be tired of our situation; we become comfortable with it. It is easier to pray for change than it is to make change happen – I know this from experience. However, I also know that praying for support and utilizing those supports in my life has made a world of difference. For myself and others, it is not just about improving the quality of relationships in our lives. It is about constantly working toward being a better person.
I have seen the difference the compliment of prayer and therapy has made in the lives of others. I only hope that people can continue to think less dichotomously of the two and allow them to co-exist in the same space. Imagine the endless opportunities for change!