The elephant in the room: When Jesus becomes the therapist


This article explores the hypothesis that in psychotherapy, clients who believe in a Higher Spiritual Presence like God/Jesus can be enabled to encounter that spiritual Resource in such a way that their healing can be enhanced and even accelerated. Through conceptualizing and interacting with one's Higher Spiritual Presence, the client gains, in addition to other inner resource-tools, one more powerful Resource which can be used to help replace a negative self-belief or wounding message with a more positive and gracious self-understanding leading to significant healing even within that session. These transformative changes can be measured using rating scales to determine SUDS (Subjective Units of Disturbance), which are part of the EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and DNMS (Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy) intervention protocols to reprocess negative beliefs. It is argued that interactions with one's Higher Spiritual Presence, experienced internally through imaginative visualization and dialogue, stimulate neural brain activity in ways that can permanently increase the client's sense of purpose and positive self-regard. It is suggested that these interactive psycho-spiritual experiences can be the catalyst for post-traumatic growth and that this has important implications for restoration not only of the mind but also what is referred to by some counselors as the soul.






L'Anni Hill

Original Work Citation

Hill, L. (2012, March). The elephant in the room: When Jesus becomes the therapist. Psyche en Geloof, 23(1), 29-37



“The elephant in the room: When Jesus becomes the therapist,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed October 29, 2020,

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