When my son first began exhibiting symptoms of anxiety and depression as a sophomore in high school, my husband and I both worked at a California mega-church whose leaders openly preached against psychiatry and psychology.
The message reached a wide audience— from the pulpit, over radio, through books, and at conferences—thus cementing in place a culture in which getting professional help for mental and emotional suffering was discouraged and stigmatized.
This was a new phenomenon for us, one that may have delayed our son getting the help he needed. After I heard about the third suicide of a young Christian that I knew back home in New Jersey, however, I no longer cared what my church community thought. I knew my son needed help and was determined to get it for him.
Nonetheless, I was concerned that the mental health practitioners who treated him would respect his tender faith and the spiritual dimension of his suffering, some of which was directly related to our family’s decision to respond to a vocational ministry calling with a cross-country move and to the culture of the church where that calling was initially lived out. …
Read the whole article at TheHighCalling.org.
Psychiatry and faith offer complimentary insights into the human condition and can help us to lead healthier and more satisfying lives, we learned in our seven-part series with Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow, Allan Josephson, M.D. …
To read a summary of those posts, go to The High Calling.
I don’t need the test at the Center for Internet Addiction website to tell me that I spend too much time online. I know I do. But for a web journalist like me, disconnecting for any length of time is unrealistic.
“What are the dangers and what can I do?” I asked Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow Allan Josephson, M.D.
Rather than direct me away from the internet, Josephson offered hope for responsibly managing my relationship to it. …
Read the whole thing at The High Calling.
The United States is known for its fast-paced, hard hitting business culture. Many careers demand 60 hour weeks or more if we’re going to succeed and provide for our families. Inherent in this climate is the temptation to worship at the altar of work.
Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow Allan Josephson,M.D. knows something about this, not only from treating psychiatric patients, but also from his own experience of juggling a challenging career with family commitments.
As a psychiatric resident, Josephson spent a week living with patients at the Hazelden Chemical Dependency Center in Minnesota. Twelve-step meetings at the center began with introductory statements like “I am an alcoholic” and “I am a drug dependent” and he didn’t battle these addictions, so he introduced himself by saying, “I am Allan Josephson, I am a workaholic.”
He recounted this story in a lecture he gave upon receiving the Oates Award from the Wayne Oates Institute. Oates, an accomplished therapist and theologian, coined the term workaholic.
“He recognized that how we approach work can have an addictive quality to it and have the same effect in our interpersonal relationships and our health,” said Josephson. “Doing things of substance requires so much of us. There are trade offs and as long as you keep your values in front of you, that’s all you can do sometimes.”
As a child and adolescent psychiatrist, Josephson has seen a lot of families broken by disordered priorities. He offers the following suggestions for finding a healthy balance. …
Read the whole article at The High Calling.
Dealing with the narcissists in our lives is never easy, but there is hope for improving these difficult relationships, says Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow AllanJosephson, M.D.
Narcissism develops out of early relationships and is sustained by subsequent ones, so it’s important to nip the problem in the bud. How one does that depends on the nature of the relationship. In this article, we’ll deal with three kinds of relationships: parent/child, husband/wife, and employer/employee. …
You can read more about narcissism and relationships at The High Calling.
Eric had leadership written all over him. Intelligence, good looks, and interpersonal drive had led to an MBA at a major university. When his first business venture failed, he was on to another that succeeded. Several other business successes followed, as did personal leadership projects undertaken at church and in his community.
He was politically active both locally and nationally. His wife and children were also achievers, but a sense of balance was missing from his life.. He suffered two major depressions in his adult life and another as retirement age approached and he was confronted with financial difficulties and the interpersonal consequences of chronic over-extension. His retirement was forced and he was emotionally adrift.
“The driver for many who lack balance in their lives is disordered thinking about the relationship of work to self and God,” Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow Allan Josephson, M.D. says.
Although he recognizes that striving for a balance between personal and professional domains facilitates development in both, Josephson has something else in mind when he considers this kind of disordered thinking. …
Read the whole article at The High Calling.