Trauma, grief and response to abuse

Over the past few years, I’ve written and spoken quite a bit about the problem of abusive cultures particularly in the context of church life. First of all, my concern is to see us doing better in letting what we believe affect how we live so that doctrines of grace lead to cultures of grace.Continue reading “Trauma, grief and response to abuse”

Is it all in the mind?

“The body keeps the score” is the title of a book by Bessel Van Der Kolk about mental health and the affects of trauma. We sometimes describe particular health conditions as “all in the mind.” At one level, what we might simply mean by that is that we cannot find a specific and direct organicContinue reading “Is it all in the mind?”

How Scripture can help with cases of depression and mental distress

I’m continuing a series of articles picking up on Mark Pickett’s call following the publication of The Pastor with a thorn in his side for further reflection and analysis concerning pastors and Christians experiencing depression. In this article I want to talk a bit more about how Scripture can be helpful to those suffering fromContinue reading “How Scripture can help with cases of depression and mental distress”

Sleep and mental health

One factor affecting mental health is rest and sleep. There are two aspects to this. First of all, when we are struggling with anxiety and/or depression this can affect sleep patterns but also disrupted sleep is likely to affect our overall sense of mental well-being.  So, it is possible to get into a vicious cycle. Continue reading “Sleep and mental health”

Thinking about the effect of environment on mental health and depression

In his review of The pastor with a thorn in his side, Mark Pickett calls for further theological, ecclesiological and sociological reflection on the causes and consequences of depression among those in Christian service. I agree and believe that such reflection will be helpful not just for church leaders suffering with depression but as weContinue reading “Thinking about the effect of environment on mental health and depression”

Facing Depression – prominent causes

In this audio podcast, I talk about some of the prominent causes of depression including physical/medical causes, the direct consequences of others’ words and actions, and spiritual causes of depression Video versions of these talks are all available on YouTube

Depression, spiritual warfare and calling the elders to pray

Mark Pickett has written this helpful review of “The pastor with a thorn in his side.”  In his review, Mark picks up on a number of things that he would have liked further analysis and discussion of in the book.  I agree with Mark that these are crucial areas that we need some further discussionContinue reading “Depression, spiritual warfare and calling the elders to pray”