Updates on christian psychotherapy conference'17

Day - 1

  Mr. Wilfred Davidar opened us up with a word of prayer, inviting God to be glorified among His people during this conference. We had a time of worship where we proclaimed His greatness and splendour and beauty. We read from 1 Corinthians 1:17-31 which speaks about God destroying the wisdom of the wise…for the foolishness of God is wised than men! As well as how CHRIST became to us WISDOM, RIGHTEOUSNESS AND SANCTIFICATION.  We were pleased to have Dr. Jeyanth from CSI Kalyani (our hosts this year along with CSI Rainy) address us for a few minutes.
-Dr. Shanthi Davidar gave us an overview of the “levels of psychotherapy”. She spoke about progressing in our practice of Holy Spirit led counselling. Yearning and seeking transformation, healing, deliverance, sanctification and deliverance in our counselling rooms and clinics which is possible through the Holy Spirit alone. We were encouraged to remove our doctor’s coats and *put on Christ* and allow God to move through our profession rather than fit a great and powerful God Who longs to redeem and restore into the small box of our profession.
Dr. Sony Lukose gave us a really great overview of the vision, direction and goal of this Christian Mental Health Professionals Forum He spoke to us about our connection to each other being the love for our God. We were challenged to honour God, not ourselves or others. He also quoted Dr.Starlin by saying “the purpose of this group is to establish a network of Christian mental health workers in India to help each other by example, support and mutual collaboration to bless our respective communities through skills and knowledge that God has blessed us with. He spoke of our mutual goal which is: continued fellowship, mentoring of young trainees, influencing our communities as disciples of Christ.

           Plenary Session - 1
Dr.Dheeraj Kattula gave us our first plenary on “Sin and Psychiatry”. He walked us through the definition of sin, nature of sin, consequences of sin, etc. and the FREEDOM from the power of sin which we are able to facilitate in our practice. We talked of our loss of focus on calling sin as sin. And then we delved into psychotherapy as a ministry. Please do look through the powerpoint that has been uploaded. I am sure it will get us thinking because it led to a very interesting round of questions and answers session. 

             Plenary Session - 2
Dr.Johann Ebenezer gave us our second plenary on “New Age” and its influences on our practices. He spoke to us how New Age doesn’t really mean that it’s “new”. We saw how current practices such as transcendental meditation mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behavior therapy, acupuncture, past life regression, homeopathy, etc. are all examples of practices that have been infiltrated with some influence of communing with supernatural forces. We were urged to re-evaluate what we choose to practice in our clinics and seek to *test the spirits*. We were encouraged to ensure that all that what we do has sound Scriptural backing and to seek a Biblical understanding of personality and health. 

Mrs. Arthy Johnson spoke to us of the Steps to Freedom model. How to break chains from the past (from things that we unknowingly or knowingly delved into) by renouncing and seeking forgiveness which leads to our restoration. She spoke to us of how God will bring to mind the things that are holding us back from having that communion with the Holy Spirit.
We ended with a lively panel discussion moderated by Dr. Sony revolving around questions on sexuality; misusing the power you have as a psychotherapist; evangelism; calling sin as sin.
We ended our first day by being disturbed and quickened in our spirits to seek His heart in these matters, as well as encouraged by the fact that we were all learning and seeking together.

Day - 2

 We had a wonderful time of morning worship that revolved around His grace and power to break the power of sin and stronghold of the enemy as well as seeking to enthrone Him on our hearts in purity and honor. The Word that we meditated on was 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 which tells us how the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God and that we were like those who could not inherit it but we were WASHED, SANCTIFIED, JUSTIFIED in the Name of Jesus and Spirit of God. We also looked at Ephesians 5:1-7 which talks about how no impurity should even be named among us.
Dr.Jessie Joseph moderated our panels for the day 

            Plenary Session - 3
Dr.Starlin Mithri spoke to us during our third plenary on “Newer addictions-disorders or sin strongholds”. We spoke about pursuing a biblical understanding of sex and touched upon Song of Solomon 8:6- _Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the LORD._ He spoke to us of reclaiming the body, the duality of our nature which drives us to discipline our sinful body so that we may walk in the freedom that God had ordained for us and how our treatment focus should *not be focused on the symptom or behaviour but on the underlying nature*. Please do look at the ppt for it covers many aspects such as the teachings of Evagrius and the passions and Karol Wojtyla.

       Working Model Psychotherapy 

Mrs. Arthy Johnson spoke to us about a model of sexuality and sanctification in clinical practice. We spoke about defilement and perversion of the heart which leads to many dysfunctions and disorders and how God’s heart is not just to take care of the issue a person may face at hand, but also to lead them in wholeness and holiness because that is abundant life. We talked about defense mechanisms and how Christ is our greatest Defense and when we allow Him into our lives, we find that He will meet every need rather than leaning on our own defenses. We were encouraged to seek the sanctification and healing of our clients rather than allowing them to merely cope. We spoke about how sexuality (manhood/womanhood) is a heart issue and God is seeking for our clients and patients (and ourselves) to have a sanctified and holy sexuality by bringing all defilement and perversion under the cross of Jesus Christ and by so doing, taking back what the enemy has stolen and killed and destroyed.
-We had a lively panel discussion revolving around questions about sexuality and sin and being Christians first and psychotherapists second or psychotherapists first and Christians second

          Plenary session - 4 

 Dr.Veena Easvaradoss’  spoke to us about how inner healing would be solely the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us. We talked of how the devil can gain access to our lives and the lives of our clients through different avenues which we may not be aware of…leading to brokenness and scarring. Such instances can lead to distorted perceptions of God. She led us through the steps toward inner healing which involved proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ, praying and allowing His will to be done, binding any demonic activity, repenting for past sins, and forgiving hurts and offenders. We were encouraged to remember that the cross of Christ can stand between anything such as the mind and the past and that this kind of whole healing is God’s heartbeat.

Day - 3

 We had a time of worship that revolved around inviting the Holy Spirit to come and invade our hearts, our minds, our professions. We read from Ezekiel 47:1-12 about the river of healing that flows from His sanctuary. We meditated on His amazing grace.

Dr.Isaac Jebaraj shared a powerful word about the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5) that we are all a part of- how we are truly ambassadors of reconciliation of man to his Maker. He spoke to us about deepening our salvation experience, resting in the finished work of the cross and not receiving the grace of God in vain by trampling on the grace which happens when we become the heroes rather than allowing God to be glorified. We heard how we must be sensitive to the Spirit in knowing where to tinker…where to aim in a client/patient’s life.
     Dr.Prasanna Jebaraj spoke to us about prayer and the power that we tap into when we pray. We delved into the prayer life of Jesus- how He was with the people, ministering all day and then praying all night to the Father. We were encouraged to retreat into our prayer closets for those are our war rooms. 

Mr. Wilfred Davidar shared with us about the natural vs the spiritual. He encouraged us to pray out of our comfort zones (such as not just praying for ourselves, but against the powers at work in your workplace or city or nation) and put aside our vain fight with the flesh and blood but make war with the powers of darkness, for we have all authority in Christ. We were challenged to ask *Who is our God?* and *Who am I in Christ?* Knowing God and who we are to Him gives power that we can tap into to demolish enemy strongholds bringing the Kingdom of God into your clinic, hospital, etc. whether Christian or not

Final Exhortation
We ended with our final exhortation from Dr.Shanthi Davidar to allow God to take ownership and rulership over our profession so that He may exalt Himself and make a great name for Himself. We heard how God’s heart is that *sin’s stronghold is broken by the power of sanctification*. Sanctification is the key to true freedom and He has given that to us to use in our work to set the captives free and bind up the broken-hearted. We heard about pronouncing God’s authority over a situation and seeing the Holy Spirit attest His power with signs and wonders. We spoke of the different offices of psychotherapists/counsellors- Apostolic, Prophetic, Evangelistic, Pastoral, Teaching. And how each of us have a certain anointing which we are to operate under but we must seek to receive the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, discernment, prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, faith, healing and the working of miracles so that we would truly be conduits of the Holy Spirit…Vessels of honor set aside for the Master’s use.
I am sure I have missed many important points. Thank you for bearing with me. May we seek His heart and His Kingdom to be established over our professions that He might be glorified to highest place. That we would be given discernment and the infilling of the Holy Spirit to bring those who come to us into freedom and deliverance though sanctification, redemption, transformation, healing and restoration.