Dear Dr. Bill,
I have a ten year old son with a depressive personality and now he is exhibiting antisocial behavior. I’m not comfortable with taking him to the non-Christian facilities covered by our insurance, so we would have to foot the bill. I’m very concerned about his anger and sometimes violent behavior. Could his problems be caused by spiritual issues, rather than psychological?
God designed human beings as physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual beings. All of these aspects interact with each other, and it’s rare that problems like you’re describing are only spiritual.
You said that you have insurance, but you don’t want to take your son to a mental health clinic unless it’s a Christian facility. I understand your concern.
Christians should be discerning about where they seek psychological treatment, and be wary of any therapist who might be hostile to their faith.
But the fact is there are many fine non-Christian physicians and psychologists who are excellent professionals and may be able to help your son. The main question to ask is: will they respect your Christian beliefs?
Given the severity of your son’s problems, I would take action as soon as possible. Talk to a Christian physician or psychologist in your community and ask him or her to recommend one of the providers that your insurance will cover.
I also think it’s important that the entire family be involved in the counseling process. Depression and acting out behavior in children can often be traced back to something going on in the home.
There are some exceptions to this, such as when a child has some kind of neurochemical imbalance, but involving the entire family in therapy is the best way to help a child.
Thanks for writing, Lori.
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