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“We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against...” Ephesians 6:12


The book content below is available in paperback & printable downloads at a low donation level price. The latest edition has been extensively revised (updated) beyond this online first edition. The book is titled: Breaking Spiritual Strongholds and Healing the Wounded Spirit: Dealing with Root Causes. Links are provided for its bookstores.

Breaking Spiritual Strongholds and Healing the Wounded Spirit: Dealing with Root Causes (book by Eric Gondwe)

Chapter 9. Healing the Wounded Spirit: With Secular Approaches

The spiritual areas of the mind, emotions and will are referred to as mental health areas in the secular world. Matters dealing with the wounded spirit are classified as anxiety disorders. For example the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) groups anxiety disorders in the following categories:

a) generalized anxiety disorders,

b) panic disorders and agoraphobia,

c) obsessive-compulsive disorders,

d) posttraumatic stress disorders,

e) social phobia (social anxiety), and

f) specific phobia.

The study of anxiety disorders is a relatively new art and science that’s still evolving. Caution and personal research is needed in seeking treatment from the secular world to avoid ending up as a failed experimental guinea pig. Caution is particularly needed when one is prescribed medication. Medication has more controversy than psychotherapy as will be covered below.

There are two main types of treatment available for all anxiety disorders: 1) medication, and 2) psychotherapy. They are covered in the next subsections.

1. Medication (With Lots of Caution)

Medication has from its onset had its controversies. It has had its fierce opponents like Lynn Henderson, who directs the Shyness Clinic in California, and Philip Zimbardo, a psychologist at Stanford University, who believe medication only tries to sweep issues under the carpet and not solve anything.

There are different medications and different psychotherapy treatments for different anxiety disorders. Some treatments have been known to work for another or combination of anxiety disorders while others have been known to have disastrous results. Unique differences of anxiety disorders among individuals have also added to the complexity of treatment for anxiety disorders.

For example there are different kinds of medications that have been used to treat social anxiety disorders. The WebMD lists the following: “antidepressants, like Paxil; tranquilizers (benzodiazepines), such as Xanax, Librium, Valium, and Ativan; beta-blockers, often used to treat heart conditions, may also be used to minimize certain physical symptoms of anxiety, such as shaking and rapid heartbeat,” (WebMD, Inc, webmd.com).

The main issue to note about medication is that it can help in the short run in adjusting. However, in the long-run it has the potential of being addictive to the point of not being able to function without it. That is why it has fierce opponents. People can get stuck on medication for years or for life, without dealing with the root causes.

Side effects of some medication include drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and weight gain. Withdrawal symptoms have been experienced by some when they stop taking medication. Withdrawal symptoms have included severe depression and suicidal thoughts or attempts.

If you are married there is another side effect of some anti-anxiety medication. The most publicized ones are anti-depressants that are known to decrease the sex drive. Some professionals say they do more harm than hindering emotions of sexual desire (libido) and performance. They say anti-depressants can hinder the expression of other healthy emotions, particularly expression of love.

Helen Fisher and  J. Anderson Thomson maintain that anti-depressants hinder feelings of passion and love. Fisher an evolutionary anthropologist from Rutgers University and Thomson a psychiatrist from the University of Virginia say this is due to brain chemistry changes of chemicals that anti-depressants are made to manipulate. Their work is covered in a chapter of a book titled Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience, edited by Steven Platek et al. The book is by many researchers on different topics.

Thus while some may resolve depression they may end up hindering the emotions that sustain a long-term relationship: love and passion towards a spouse.

Not only do a lot of mental health drugs hinder love emotions they may also lead to other harmful emotional and mental delusions. There is a lot debate among alternative health practitioners alleging that mental health drugs cause a lot of people to completely lose touch with reality. This in turn makes them to commit even the worst crimes without even realizing their psychosis (irrational and delusional behavior).

The research done by Fisher and Thomson is not conclusive but so is the field of mental health.  The field of mental health is a field that is still in its early stages of development. Anyone seeking mental health assistance for yourself, for your child or for anyone it’s recommended to countercheck prescriptions by considering information from several sources. With the advent of the internet it is now possible to obtain a lot of such information much easier and more freely.

I’m on the side of mental health practitioners that caution against psychiatric drugs. As a Christian, knowing that drugs cannot address spiritual matters it’s plain simple that fellow Christians seek spiritual remedies instead. Drugs (medicine) deal with the brain wiring matters of certain supposed chemical imbalances in the brain. They address the physical aspects of what’s going on in the brain. They do not address the spiritual aspects that are the actual causes.

As a result the root problem is never resolved with drugs. Worse still is that they bring side effects that may add more salt to the already existing wounds. These side effects include mental, emotional and physiological reactions.

I’ve seen kids that were growing up well only to be stalled by medications their parents’ shrinks advised to treat supposed hyperactivity disorders. Mentally some lost their sharpness, became quite emotionally detached, and physically gained a lot of weight while becoming far less energetic. Anyone can say this was not a fair tradeoff just to make a child less hyper.

Hyperactivity “disorders” are normal signs of a child’s character. Some personalities are by nature hyperactive. I’m in this category of people that cannot sit still. Hyperactivity was quite a thorn in the flesh to my family in my teenage years. However being hyper is not a problem in itself. The main problem is when the endless energy is diverted to negative matters.

Thus the solution is to work on ensuring such energy is diverted towards positive matters. One of the most negative devices today on children is the secular multimedia world. These include most secular or mainstream television shows, movies, music, and so on. In my other book, Breaking Occult Spells: Protection from Witchcraft and Occult Influences, there’s a detailed section covering on the occult and other negative influence the secular multimedia world has on people. In the book see chapter 7, “Breaking Occult Spells: God the Spell Breaker, the Spell Buster.”

There is nothing as draining and stressful as looking after a hyperactive child who’s working to live the lifestyle and behavior he/she is learning from the secular world. All that energy gets thrown into chasing after wind, and even worse, into looking for trouble. I’ve been one of such children before but thanks be to God for his rescue before any disaster happened. The prayers of family members worked to prevent this. But I can imagine many children out there without such a prayer covering.

It takes more work nurturing hyperactive children but it’s the rewards ahead (the child’s future) that are worth today’s input. This is not easy in an era where many parents have time constraints to spend with their children. Sometimes it may be worth cutting one’s material needs and pursuits by adjusting to only essentials.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “There are two ways to increase your wealth. Increase your means or decrease your wants.”

In the Western world we’ve set the bar of what’s “enough” so high it’s only working to serve the interests of the big business groups. Many people are literally on a breathless rat-race to increasing their means or to loading themselves with whatever latest toys of the day. As Christians we can’t afford falling into the same trap. Assuming that the grass is greener, with abundant joy, happiness, peace of mind, security, and respect by being wealthy is a deception ruining lives of many.

In regard to hyperactive behavior when the energy is directed towards negative matters there is also a dietary component to it. Certain foods magnify hyperactivity to gigantic levels. The biggest culprit is foods with a lot of sugar. Sugar is like alcohol to children.

Unfortunately the food industry only works to worsen the problem through their advertising of sugar laden foods to children. Many schools are flooded with vending machines selling candy (sweets), soda (soft drinks), and other sugar and high calorie foods. This has only contributed to higher hyperactivity behavior and a rise in obesity among children. Even “energy drinks” are being advertised to kids. What on earth does a child need an energy drink for?

Such matters in society are why I keep sounding the alarm that we ought to guard ourselves from predators out there that do not have our primary interests. These predators work in the least obvious ways and if we’re ignorant of their ways they end up ruining our families, relationships, physical health and so on. “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge,” Hosea 4:6.

In the era we live in these secrete predators are not just some greedy business people seeking to profit from anything. We’re in a period that the occult world from a Satanic group the bible calls Mystery Babylon is busy doing Satan’s work. With Satan’s time being short he’s on a mission to take as many as possible with him and to destroy God’s people as much as possible. The nature and work of this Mystery Babylon is covered in my other book titled: Breaking Occult Spells: Protection from Witchcraft and Occult Influences.

More content available in the Second Edition of the book: Click here to acquire it

2. Psychotherapy (Has its Limitations): Techniques like CBT and SBT

Psychotherapy has more advocates than for medication. However both psychotherapy and medication can easily be used in combination by mental health professionals.

Psychotherapy involves talking with a trained mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or counselor to learn how to deal with problems like anxiety disorders.

Advocates for psychotherapy, like Thomas A. Richards, argue that psychotherapy has the best approach to solving anxiety disorders. A term was born in the 1980s to define the psychotherapy treatment method for anxiety disorders. It is known as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is basically a combination of cognitive and behavioral theories, covered earlier, in dealing with mental health disorders.

The major aim of CBT is to reduce anxiety by eliminating beliefs, mental associations and behaviors that bring about the anxiety disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, as its name suggests, has two parts: 1) the cognitive component, and 2) the behavioral component.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says the cognitive component helps people change thinking patterns that keep them from overcoming their fears. For example, a person with a social anxiety disorder might be helped to overcome the belief that others are continually watching and harshly judging him or her.

The behavioral component of CBT seeks to change people's reactions to anxiety-provoking situations. A key element of this component is exposure, in which people confront the things they fear.

For example, a person with social anxiety may be encouraged to spend time in feared social situations without giving in to the temptation to flee. In some cases the individual will be asked to deliberately make what appears to be slight social blunders and observe other people’s reactions; if they are not as harsh as expected, the person's social anxiety may begin to fade.

Some people who have successfully conquered mental health disorder, such as their fears, through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can experience a relapse after long periods of success. The NIMH says that, “Recurrences can be treated effectively, just like an initial episode. In fact, the skills you learned in dealing with the initial episode can be helpful in coping with a setback,” (National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a branch the National Institutes of Health (NIH), at nimh.nih.gov).

CBT has its offspring or offshoots among professionals who have modified the principles to the point of creating different approaches. A notable one is known as Solution-Oriented Brief Therapy (SBT) or Solution Focused Psychotherapy. Its approach is less past or problem-centered and more solution-centered, a process which is more effective, brief and more empowering.

Michele Weiner-Davis is a proponent of SBT, an approach that she uses to help people overcome their obstacles on their own rather than relying on so called “experts” for constant care. She believes professionals like her are meant to empower clients to solve their own obstacles rather than dump matters on counselors to solve them.

In her audio book, Fire Your Shrink, Weiner-Davis says, “The countless people who have triumphed over physical illness, poverty, abuse, loss, and emotional devastation, are true experts (in overcoming obstacles on their own). Let’s learn from them, instead of obsessing over humanity’s dark side then running to professionals (psychotherapists, counselors, etc) in the hope that they can cure what ails us.

“The idea that “experts” don’t have all the answers may not win any popularity contest. A tremendous amount of security is derived in believing in “experts.” But it’s a false sense of security that in no way compares to the strength you get from knowing that you can depend on yourself.

“Since I’m one of those so called “experts” I realize that it may seem somewhat paradoxical for me to tell you to take expert advice off its pedestal (and see it for what it really is), but it’s not paradoxical at all… My goal is to put the self back in self-help (to be your own expert and thereby help yourself overcome obstacles),” Weiner-Davis, Fire Your Shrink (parentheses added for clarification).

Weiner-Davis’ book and audio book can be purchased online at her website, DivorceBusting.com. The website is more than about “divorce busting,” that is why she has books such as Fire Your Shrink. Click on the top link “Divorce Busting Store,” or on the left link “Audio CDs and Tapes.” The book version of Fire Your Shrink has been renamed to Change Your Life and Everyone in It.

About the book and audio book, her website says, “The truth is, as Michele Weiner-Davis discovered when she set out to practice psychotherapy, you don’t have to go on a psycho-archaeology expedition to solve your problems (like the CBT approach tends to emphasize with its problem centered approach).

“Exploring your childhood doesn’t help you to escape the stranglehold of the past. Knowing why you behave destructively doesn’t stop you from overeating or overreacting, curb depression or panic attacks, or build healthy, happy relationships. Even worse, continually thinking and talking about problems makes you feel hopeless.

“Determined to find a better way, Michele developed a radically different approach, based on the principles of Solution-oriented Brief Therapy (SBT). Suddenly she was witnessing spectacular triumphs. People who had been stuck for years turned their lives around within days. The transformations were real, immediate, and lasting.

“Drawing on more than a decade of experience with individuals, couples, and families, Michele explains:

- why looking to the past for understanding prolongs the problem

- how to find “the expert within” and break free of unproductive ways of thinking, feeling, and acting

- how to translate overwhelming problems into achievable goals

- how, despite what you’ve been told, you can change other people as well as yourself.”

Other recommended secular professionals include, Lucinda Bassett, from Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety. She has a self-help, drug free program called Attacking Anxiety & Depression. Her material is more expensive at around $450.00 compared to Weiner-Davis’ $9.95 for her audio book. Her approach is similar to that of Weiner-Davis, focusing on empowering people than shrinking their brains.

More content available in the Second Edition of the book: Click here to acquire it

The Limits of Secular Approaches

Healing the wounded spirit is not just a cognitive, mental or brain chemistry issue. It is beyond that. It is a spiritual matter. It this spiritual nature of our inner makeup that the secular world finds itself limited to dealing with. However these are spiritual matters beyond the mind.

A wounded spirit is a result various matters depending on the doorway the matters entered into a person’s life. The four doorways of access were covered earlier: 1) deception, 2) ignorance, 3) sin, and 4) storms of life.

From the original causes of a wounded spirit there can also be offshoots or other matters that may have added to the problem. For example, someone dealing with matters from the distant past may also be dealing with recent afflictions he/she may be going through. The person’s personality makeup may also be facilitating the problem, particularly when a person does not know his/her areas of weakness and vulnerability.

Thus to precisely identify the root causes from thousands or even millions of experiences in life is not humanly possible. Only the Holy Spirit whose knowledge is infinite knows how to take care of such a puzzle.

That is why secular psychology and related fields of study are limited. Much has been unearthed through these noble fields. But they cannot replace a responsibility that is primarily spiritual in nature.

How else can we explain former prisoners, drug addicts, prostitutes, homosexuals, victims of abuse, emotional wretches, and so on, being more likely to change and receive deliverance through God’s word than through all the secular counseling they could get?

More content available in the Second Edition of the book: Click here to acquire it

Breaking Spiritual Strongholds and Healing the Wounded Spirit:
              i. INTRO: Breaking Spiritual Strongholds and Healing the Wounded Spirit
Chapter 1. Our Triune Nature: Spirit, Soul and Body
Chapter 2. Nature of Spiritual Strongholds: In the Mind, Emotions and Will
Chapter 3. The Nature of a Wounded Spirit, Crushed Spirit, or Broken Spirit
Chapter 4. Deception, the No. 1 Doorway for Spiritual Wounds
Chapter 5. The Other Three Sources of Spiritual Wounds and Strongholds
Chapter 6. Effects of a Wounded Spirit (Broken or Crushed Spirit)
Chapter 7. Personality’s Role in Influencing our Spiritual Health
Chapter 8. Healing the Wounded Spirit: The Christian Approach
Chapter 9. Healing the Wounded Spirit: With Secular Approaches
Chapter 10. The Enemy Within: Breaking Strongholds Hiding in Our Lives
Chapter 11. Maintaining a Healthy Spirit and Embracing God's "Plan B"
Chapter 12. Overcoming Guilt, Guilty Conscience and Self-Condemnation
Chapter 13. Deliverance from Demonic Experiences and Demonic Manifestations
Chapter 14. Deliverance and Healing from the Occult, Witchcraft & Satanism
Appendix 1. Cognitive Biases: How we Think Inside our Boxes
              * Breaking Strongholds Book References
              * Breaking Strongholds Book Index

Breaking strongholds & healing wounded spirit book 1: Breaking Spiritual Strongholds and Healing the Wounded Spirit
©2008 Eric Gondwe


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