Body-Soul And Biblical Counseling -- By: Christopher W. Bogosh

Journal: Puritan Reformed Journal
Volume: PRJ 05:1 (Jan 2013)
Article: Body-Soul And Biblical Counseling
Author: Christopher W. Bogosh

Body-Soul And Biblical Counseling1

Christopher W. Bogosh

In this essay, we will study the obscure relationship between the body and soul, and the necessary dependency they have on one another in our present state of existence. The human person is a unitary being. God created us as an integrated and inseparable unit; it was only after sin and death entered the world that an unnatural dichotomy occurred between the body and soul. It is crucial to recognize this biblical fact of human personhood because it will inform your approach to counseling. The material body and immaterial soul function together as a harmonious entity, and this unified condition is our original state of being. Therefore, we should not divide and reduce the human person into organic or non-organic components when counseling. Rather, our goal as biblical counselors is to apply the Word of God under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to the entire person via the senses.

In order to understand this relationship better, we will look at a condition called delirium. Delirium is a broad diagnostic term that describes an acute state of psychosis caused by either an underlying bodily (i.e., anatomical, biochemical, or neurological) or psychological insult. Delirium has earned the name “reversible madness” and “everyone’s psychosis,” and it is the most common mental disorder in hospitalized patients. “By definition,” writes Robert E. Enck, “delirium is a transient disorder of cognition and attention, one accompanied by disturbances of the sleep-wake cycle and psychomotor activity.”2 Delirium may affect a person’s perception and cause

visual hallucinations and auditory delusions. It may result in disorganized thinking or incoherent speech. A person’s memory may be impaired, usually with respect to time and place. A delirious person may have attention and awareness deficits, be lethargic, and have a disturbed sleep-wake cycle. Psychomotor activity may be impaired, resulting in hypo- or hyperactive muscular action, slow respirations, flaccidity, agitation, twitching, and even seizures. A delirious person will experience a broad range of emotions such as giddiness, grandiosity, depression, apathy, fear, and rage. Delirium testifies to the intricate relationship between body and soul, which is why it serves as a good example to introduce this topic.

One’s psychological state, a state of the soul, affects one’s physical state, a state of the body, and vice versa. We do not know what the soul is composed of, only that it is an immaterial, spiritual substance from God. How the immaterial soul and the m...

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