Contributed Article by Margaret Nagib, Psy.D. and Kara Miller of Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Many treatment providers claim to address the individual’s treatment needs-body, soul and spirit. But what does this really mean and how do we as treatment providers do this? In this paper, we discuss the importance of the tripartite nature of man and how this nature corresponds with the triune God. We will present the importance of the much-neglected spirit in current healing work. Additionally, we will introduce Sozo, a practical inner healing tool used to identify the blocks that keep individuals from fully interacting with the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). This tool assists the clinician’s work to restore the individual’s intimacy with God, utilizing the core Christian value of forgiveness. Sozo, with the guidance of the clinician and through the power of the Holy Spirit, identifies and breaks off the lies that block an individual in their relationship with God and releases the truth of identity, who God is, and the freedom He has for each individual.
Spirituality is increasingly seen as an important aspect of psychological care. In recent years, there have been a number of studies that highlight the positive correlation between spirituality and psychotherapy [including spirituality as therapy for an eating disorder]. (Walker, Reese, Hughes & Troskie, 2010) (Webb, Robinson & Brower, 2010) (Pargament & Saunders, 2007). There have also been a number of research papers written discussing the benefits of forgiveness (Webb, Robinson & Brower, 2010) and inner healing in a therapeutic setting. (Garzon, 2005) (Garzon & Paloma, 2005) (Garzon & Burkett, 2002). In this paper, we will discuss the tripartite nature of man, defined as the body, soul, and spirit, as an important aspect in considering the whole person and providing comprehensive care. We will then discuss how the tripartite nature of man relates to the triune nature of God and introduce a powerful inner healing tool called Sozo. This tool is based on a tripartite understanding of the individual in relation to the triune nature of God. It utilizes the key Christian concept of forgiveness and works to alleviate shame and trauma in a client through a deeper connection with the triune Godhead.
TRIPARTITE MAN IN RELATION TO THE TRIUNE GOD
We will begin with a discussion on the tripartite nature of man, to highlight the need to address the human spirit in counseling. We learn of the tripartite nature of man from the Bible. Several scriptures speak of our tripartite nature. In the letter to the Thessalonians, Paul prayed,
“May God himself, the God of Peace, sanctify you through and through.” May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it. (emphasis added, I Thes. 5:23). The word “sanctify”– as it is used here means to “set apart” and “to make something different and distinct, breaking old associations and forming a new association.” (Guzik, 2011). The emphasis is on the completeness of God’s transformative work and His desire to set us apart as special and to make us new. God’s promise in this passage for wholeness and healing is powerful. As treatment providers, it is important to understand this powerful promise and to understand the differences between our role and God’s. Paul is reminding us that it is by God’s power that transformation is accomplished and that He is faithful in accomplishing this goal. Our role as helpers is to bring this hope to our clients. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus makes this promise, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yolk is easy and my burden is light.” (emphasis added).
We can assure and remind our clients that no matter the difficulty or issues faced, God is faithful to heal them — body, soul, and spirit. This is an important message for our clients, so we need to educate and help them to understand their tripartite nature, the function of each part of that nature, and the inter- relationship between them. In this discussion, we explain that it is through the human body that we engage, interact with, and have conscious awareness of the material world (Nee, 1968). The five senses are the doorway to this awareness and interaction. Certain psychological issues such as eating disorders or addictions take a heavy toll on this aspect of the individual. It is helpful to discuss with them how their psychological issues interact and affect their whole personhood, particularly how these issues are being played out in the body. Psychiatry has made significant gains in treating the biological aspects of disorders and in helping us to better understand the role of biology.
Published Date: September 1, 2011
Last reviewed: By Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on June 4, 2012
Article Contributed by our Sponsor ~ Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com, Eating Disorder Resources