"Ye are free, ye are permitted to act for yourselves." Helaman 14:30
The thesis of this paper is that free agency is not only central to our faith and salvation, but is also critical to effective therapeutic care.
Our Father in Heaven has given us the ability to make choices. Some of these choices are healthy and help us grow while others are destructive, stop us from living full lives, and can lead to insanity.
Effective therapy enables us to identify the choices we have made and then decide if we want to make new choices.
The first section of this paper presents an example of a person choosing to step back from a schizophrenic break. He does so by learning that he can ask questions and recieve information that will provide him with new alternatives.
The second section describes the structure and importance of free agency as taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The central theme is then explored through a discussion of what therapists have learned in effective therapy.
In the third section, Tina struggles with childhood decisions. Those decisions are destructive and could mean her life. The complexity of the therapeutic process is especially examined.
The fourth section draws on the teachings of Christ and their interpretation of those teachings by Elder Boyd K. Packer. From them we learn how to be effective therapists.
The fifth and final section shows the dramatic use of free agency when terminally ill cancer patients use their agency to decide to live--and they do.
(Please note: So that the people described here will not be burdened with history, but rather live their new decisions, their names have been changed.)
Russell, Thomas W.
"Ye Are Free . . .,"
Issues in Religion and Psychotherapy: Vol. 5
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/irp/vol5/iss3/4