While I realize that all of the elements, that will be addressed in this series, can be included under the broad umbrella of psychology, in this conversation I am specifically identifying thought patterns. If you do a series of interviews with depressed individuals, you will pretty quickly notice that they have great difficulty identifying with anything positive. When you try to get them to notice the positive, the response in frequently a "yes but". I tend to agree with the cognitive school of therapy that says that our emotions are a direct result of our thoughts. People who tend to see the good things in life, tend to be happy. Those who tend to see the difficult side of things, tend to be more sad, anxious, angry or distressed in general. Also, these negative thought patterns can begin to poison the way we think about those in our social network, influencing the interactions with those who are important in ones life. I have even seen situations where distressful thoughts have distorted a clients view of their relationship with God.
Biblically, we are encouraged to live hopeful, encouraging thought lives.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."
In the treatment of emotional issue, we must address this pattern of negative thinking. Interventions in this area, tend to focus on examining specific thoughts and determining if they are helpful or not. Other tools can include ways to redirect thoughts, choose different ways of thinking, and even help clients to interrupt episodes, in which thoughts become intrusive and seemingly overwhelming.
This is but an introduction to the many resources that have come out of the world of psychological interventions. These psychological interventions are often quite powerful and have very real capacity to bring about changes in our lives.