Therapy Doesn't Undermine our Faith: Gospel Artist Anthony Evans - Hope 103.2

Therapy Doesn’t Undermine our Faith: Gospel Artist Anthony Evans

'When Faith Meets Therapy' offers readers hope and a practical path forward in their emotional, spiritual and relational wellbeing.

By Laura BennettTuesday 23 Aug 2022Hope AfternoonsHealth and WellbeingReading Time: 3 minutes

Before the pandemic the language around mental health issues was already starting to encourage and destigmatise people’s need for support, and on this side of the health crisis the dialogue has only amplified in intensity.

Australian mental wellbeing support organisation Beyond Blue reported that anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia. On average, one in four people – one in three women and one in five men – will experience anxiety at some stage in their life.

So why, at times, do Christians feel uneasy about seeking out assistance for such a common health concern?

In their new book, When Faith Meets Therapy, Grammy nominated Gospel artist Anthony Evans and licensed psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser joined forces in dissecting Anthony’s own journey with therapy, offering readers hope and a practical path forward in their emotional, spiritual and relational wellbeing.

Asked why he thinks Christians can be hesitant to get professional help, Anthony told Hope 1032, “Christians think that doing anything in addition to God means that you don’t trust Him, that He’s not enough – that you’re adding something to your faith”.

“Christians think that doing anything in addition to God means that you don’t trust Him, that He’s not enough…” – Gospel artist Anthony Evans

“I don’t really understand why the stigma is there,” he said.

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“Once I figured out how [therapy] worked for me, I was like, ‘I don’t get why this is a problem’.”

Sometimes it’s the unknown of what a session will involve that can hold people back, but Stacy said counselling, “is a safe space where you are not supposed to feel judged”.

“It’s a place where you can bring your problems and issues and challenges and have a person who is on your side, but who is not running their own agenda,” she said.

“A lot of times if you talk to friends or family or coworkers and you ask their [advice] about something, they have an opinion and that is mixed in with their guidance. That’s not what [therapists] do.”

The big question Christians can have though, “is if I seek therapy out, am I negating the need to pray and ‘cast my cares on God’?” Does it undermine my spiritual practices and trust in Him?

“I think that therapy can do that but I think that food can do that. I think that work can do that, shopping can do that,” Anthony said.

“There are certain ways that people cope that become the main thing – the only thing – so it’s up to the individual to be responsible with it.

“Therapy should not replace your spiritual work your connection to God – it’s an enhancement, not a replacement.”

“Therapy should not replace your spiritual work your connection to God – it’s an enhancement, not a replacement,” – Grammy nominee Anthony Evans

Accepting our need for counselling at times is crucial, Stacy said, because when Christians are especially service-minded they can overlook their own concerns.

“A lot of people who are compassionate – people who feel value in serving others – also sometimes forget who they are, what they need and about their value,” Stacy said.

“Part of my role is to tell people, ‘You can still be there for other people, but you need to get to know yourself – you need to make sure you’re getting your needs met’.”

Anthony and Stacy’s book When Faith Meets Therapy is out now.

Listen to Anthony and Stacy’s full interview with Laura Bennett in the player above.