It didn’t take me very long once I started at the University of Mobile to know that I wanted to add a psychology major. I had been in Introduction to Psychology for two class meetings, and I went straight to the registrar’s office to add a second major. Why? There are several reasons— beyond the simple fact that I was interested in the subject.
It was obvious to me that my professor loved what she was teaching, and she was passionate about making me love it, too. I can say that truthfully for all the professors I had in the psychology department in my four years. Each professor that I had taught me to love learning and to love knowledge. They inspired me to value intelligence over having a degree in my hand.
I was taught about what makes humans so… human. What decides our actions and behaviors and emotions? What makes us love who we love? Why do some people have inclinations towards certain behaviors? I learned the scientific answers to these questions — and it did not battle the gospel. In fact, it gave me a better, more complete understanding of a human race made in the image of Christ.
This semester, I am starting graduate school here at the University of Mobile, studying Marriage and Family Counseling. After four years of studying psychology, I’ve only grown hungrier for more. There is so much more that I want to learn, and I want to learn it so that I can better serve my future clients. I want to help the people that are made in the image of Christ. I want to understand what makes them individuals, as well as part of the Body of Christ. I want to point them to Jesus. Obviously, I may not be in a situation where I can explicitly share the gospel. But love in the name of Jesus speaks for itself.
I’ve heard the same comment from a lot of people in the church: “Christians don’t need therapy, especially non-Christian therapy.” My response has always been, we need mental health help from therapists in the same way that we need physical health help from a doctor. I believe that our minds are just as important as our hearts, and they are just as much “Imago Dei.” We, as Christians are called to share the gospel, and I believe that means in word and in action. So, how do we love people? I think that listening with the aim to understand, serve and help — regardless of gender, religion, race, denomination, or circumstance — is love. I want to do just that.