Shedding light on Theophostic Ministry 2: ethical and legal issues.
Theophostic Ministry (TPM (1) See TP monitor.
(2) (Transactions Per Minute) The number of transactions processed within one minute. See TPS.
(3) (Trusted Platform M ), developed by Ed Smith (1997, 2000), is reviewed and critiqued regarding ethical and legal issues. Since its introduction in 1995, interest in Theophostic Ministry has grown rapidly and the method has been applied to a wide range of mental health disorders. As currently employed, however, TPM may pose numerous ethical and legal issues. These issues include the adequacy of TPM training methods, debatable claims that it utilizes divine guidance Noun 1. divine guidance - (theology) a special influence of a divinity on the minds of human beings; "they believe that the books of Scripture were written under divine guidance"
inspiration , unsubstantiated claims of guaranteed healing and superiority of method, widespread use of Theophostic Ministry interventions without adequate empirical scrutiny or support, concerns regarding whether Theophostic Ministry should be considered a counseling intervention or a ministry, and concerns about the openness of TPM's founder to critique. Taken together, these issues constitute serious concerns regarding compliance with professional codes of ethics and legal guidelines.
Theophostic Ministry (TPM) takes as a starting point Noun 1. starting point - earliest limiting point
terminus a quo
commencement, get-go, offset, outset, showtime, starting time, beginning, start, kickoff, first - the time at which something is supposed to begin; "they got an early start"; "she knew from the the concept that current symptoms are due to past events in which a "lie" entered the mind (such as the belief "I am unlovable") which originated in a historical situation (such as having been a victim of sexual abuse). TPM seeks to release current suffering by asking Christ to appear in the memory and counter the "lie" with the light of his truth, resulting in symptom relief. In his materials, Ed Smith, the founder of TPM, has variously referred to his approach as "TheoPhostic Counseling" (1997, p. 5), "the TheoPhostic process" (1997, p. 7), "TheoPhostic Procedure" (1997, p. 60), "Theophostic Ministry" (2000, p. 1), or sometimes simply as "TheoPhostic" (1997, p. 7) or "Theophostic" (2000, p. 3). Smith (2000) revised his terminology, asserting, "Theophostic is truly not counseling, but rather ministry" (p. 2). In deference to this change, the term "Theophostic Ministry" or "TPM" will be used in the present work except when quotations involve other terminology.
Smith (2000) clearly made changes in TPM based on some awareness of litigious litigious adj. referring to a person who constantly brings or prolongs legal actions, particularly when the legal maneuvers are unnecessary or unfounded. Such persons often enjoy legal battles, controversy, the courtroom, the spotlight, use the courts to punish vulnerability, notably the change in name from Theophostic Counseling to Theophostic Ministry. Furthermore, he and a collaborator recently published a book to help "prayer ministers" (a category in which Smith includes people practicing TPM) "to live thoughtfully and carefully in a litigious society" (Wilder & Smith, 2002, p. 6). The focus of the present article is on legal and ethical issues that may be posed by TPM theory, practice, and training. In developing an understanding of TPM, a good place to begin is with a summary of its history and its practitioners.
Ed Smith and his wife, Sharon, "own and operate Alathia Center for Biblical Counseling" which provides TPM to clients and training for those interested in his method (Smith, 1997, p. 2). (1) According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Wilder and Smith (2002), Smith received an MRE MRE
meal ready to eat in Marriage and Family Counseling and completed coursework toward a Doctor of Education degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a private, non-profit institution of higher education, associated with the Southern Baptist Convention, whose stated mission is "to provide theological education for individuals engaging in Christian , possesses a Doctor of Ministry degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) is one of six official seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention. It is located in Kansas City, Missouri. Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary also houses an undergraduate college, Midwestern Baptist College, SBC. , and is "a licensed ordained or·dain
tr.v. or·dained, or·dain·ing, or·dains
a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on.
b. To authorize as a rabbi.
2. minister" in the Southern Baptist Noun 1. Southern Baptist - a member of the Southern Baptist Convention
Southern Baptist Convention - an association of Southern Baptists
Baptist - follower of Baptistic doctrines denomination (p. 171).
Origins of TPM
Smith (1997) recounted that the insight that became TPM came to him in response to a prayer in which he asked God to show him a way to quicken the therapeutic process. In some of his writing, Smith's words easily lead to an impression that he claimed special revelation Special revelation is a theological term that states a belief that knowledge of God and of spiritual matters can be discovered through supernatural means, such as miracles or the scriptures, a disclosure of God's truth through means other than through man's reason. of his method. For instance, Smith (1997), expressing dissatisfaction with other therapeutic methods, "asked God for a better way. So as I came to the end of myself, He gave me Theophostic" (p. 7). Such statements give an appearance that Smith has asserted claims to special revelation: "As God was revealing this method to me ..." (Smith, 2000, p. 35, italics added). Later in the same book Smith declared, "God began to pour this information into my mind.... I could not write down the new information fast enough to keep up with what God was saying to me" (Smith, p. 199).
While some of Smith's writings make it appear as if he alleged to have received divine revelation Noun 1. divine revelation - communication of knowledge to man by a divine or supernatural agency
making known, informing - a speech act that conveys information of his method, he denied any intent to do so. The Theophostic website contains the following disclaimer by Smith: "For the record, I do not believe that I have received any revelatory information from God nor have I ever made such a claim.... Insight I have had, Divine revelation I have not" (Theophostic Ministries, n.d., Misconceptions, Answer to Objections #7 section). Notwithstanding Smith's denial, it is troubling that his writings have sufficiently left the impression he made such claims that he has found it necessary to issue such a denial, and that, to date, he has not revised his materials to eliminate this impression.
Practitioners of TPM
Regardless of how one interprets Smith's comments about the origins of TPM, his method has become quite popular in some circles. Smith asserted that 15,000 people have been taught his method through his basic Theophostic training seminar, with nearly another 1,000 per month completing a videotape-training course in TPM (Wilder & Smith, 2002). Smith asserted that up to 300,000 people have received Theophostic Ministry (Bidwell, 2001). Individuals trained in Theophostic methods appear primarily to be lay counselors. Garzon, Paloma, Gorsuch, Borden, and Terjsland (2001) collected survey data from participants at an Advanced Training in Theophostic Ministry seminar. It appears that slightly less than 1/4 of the sample identified themselves as mental health professionals, nearly another 1/4 identified themselves as pastors or pastoral counselors, and approximately 1/2 as "Lay Counselors" or "None of the Above" (Garzon et al., 2001). Due to limitations of the survey data, and because the sample was non-representative, the data cannot be generalized to the larger population of individuals trained in TPM. The data do suggest, however, that Theophostic practitioners are apt to be paraprofessionals or nonprofessionals, although some licensed mental health professionals appear to be seeking Theophostic training and, presumably pre·sum·a·ble
That can be presumed or taken for granted; reasonable as a supposition: presumable causes of the disaster. , practicing it as a therapeutic method.
While the effectiveness of church-based paraprofessional paraprofessional
1. a person who is specially trained in a particular field or occupation to assist a veterinarian.
2. allied animal health professional.
3. pertaining to a paraprofessional. counseling has been demonstrated (e.g., Toh & Tan, 1997), it is notable that guidelines to establish paraprofessionals' competence are needed (Scanish & McMinn, 1996). Smith provides TPM training to interested individuals, who may or may not have any lay or professional counseling experience, through brief seminars or videotapes that can be ordered from Theophostic Ministries (Theophostic Ministries, n.d., Training section). Given the lack of prerequisite experience and the limitations of Smith's three-day seminar training format, and the even more limited video training, the sufficiency of TPM training to establish technical and ethical competence is dubious. Other ethical and legal concerns to be addressed include claims of divine guidance within TPM, claims of guaranteed healing and superiority of method, application of TPM to diagnoses without adequate demonstration of empirical effectiveness, inefficiency of empirical support for TPM methods, whether TPM should be classified as a ministry or a counseling intervention, and concerns about Smith's response to critique.
DIVINE REVELATION IN TPM
Smith's assertion that God literally reveals himself in TPM must be evaluated against the backdrop of guided imagery Guided Imagery Definition
Guided imagery is the use of relaxation and mental visualization to improve mood and/or physical well-being.
Purpose or a claim to special revelation. Smith (1997) asserted
TheoPhostic is not guided imagery, but rather divinely guided healing. The pictures and images people may or may not see are not suggestions made by the therapist. These pictures are an unfolding of truth from God, which results in complete healing of the memory being dealt with. (p. 10)
Contrary to Smith's claim, TPM unquestionably un·ques·tion·a·ble
Beyond question or doubt. See Synonyms at authentic.
un·question·a·bil provides direction by instructing clients to look for God in their "memories". For instance, in one case Smith (1997) clearly directed his client by saying, "Look for the Lord Jesus. If you do not see Him, at least try to sense His presence" (p. 55). In another case he reported, a client indicated that he was angry with God and wanted to hit Him. "That is all right," replied Smith, "Go ahead and hit God" (p. 21). Such direction does not necessarily preclude the possibility of divine revelation in TPM, but such directives are consistent with imagination guided partly by therapist suggestion (e.g, Spanos, Burgess, Burgess, Samuales, & Blois, 1999). Smith (2000) recognized that some clients with differing theological views might be resistant to looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. Jesus in their memories. Such discernment, rather than being merely problematic, might reflect a question well worth asking: Is the appearance of Jesus in TPM the product of revelation or imagination?
Guided imagery involving memory and visualization of Christ is a common element of Inner Healing techniques, however, most Inner Healing adherents part company with Smith's view of literal revelation. Seamonds (1985), for instance, was clear in distinguishing the ministry of the Holy Spirit from human visualization of His presence.
While [visualizations of Jesus] are pictures based on biblical symbols, the form of the mental images by which we visualize His presence is the product of our imaginations. But the fact of His presence pictured by these images is guaranteed by the promises of Scripture. (p. 68, italics in original)
While Seamonds conceived of the Spirit as in some mystical way guiding the process of counseling and memory recall, he was clear that the appearance of Jesus was to be understood as a matter of visualization rather than revelation.
If one rejects the critique that the appearance of Jesus in Theophostic Ministry is mere guided imagery, as Smith does, one is left with the concept that God literally and directly reveals Himself in an individual's memory, which would seem to be a claim to divine revelation. Smith (2000) countered, "I am not suggesting that what God is revealing to people is new revelation.... What happens in a Theophostic moment is God personalizing His Word for the individual" (p. 3). Whether or not this revelation is "new" in the sense that it goes beyond scriptural scrip·tur·al
1. Of or relating to writing; written.
2. often Scriptural Of, relating to, based on, or contained in the Scriptures. truths, it is clearly a claim to special revelation. According to the late theologian Carl F. H. Henry, "the term 'revelation' means intrinsically the disclosure of what was previously unknown ..." (quoted in Elwell, 1984, p. 946). Special revelation is variously transmitted by God's "word and deed," the latter including theophanies, miracles, dreams, and visions (Alexander & Rosner, 2000, p. 733). The concept of literal apparitions of Jesus occurring in TPM clearly falls into the category of special revelation.
Historically, assertions of special revelation have typically been treated with caution, knowing that fraudulent claims of revelation are not uncommon and can be dangerous (e.g., Is. 56:10; Jer. 23:25-28; Mt. 7:22-23; 1 Jn. 1:1-3; Rev. 19:20). Likewise, the power of the human mind to manufacture "visions" through dissociation dissociation, in chemistry, separation of a substance into atoms or ions. Thermal dissociation occurs at high temperatures. For example, hydrogen molecules (H2 , hypnosis hypnosis
State that resembles sleep but is induced by a person (the hypnotist) whose suggestions are readily accepted by the subject. The hypnotized individual seems to respond in an uncritical, automatic fashion, ignoring aspects of the environment (e.g. , and suggestion cannot be underestimated. While one must be wary of claims of special revelation, neither the theological nor psychological concerns stated above preclude such revelation. Thus, one is left to discern the veracity veracity (vras´itē),
n of such revelation on other grounds.
The rationale for why Jesus should reveal himself in the memory of someone undergoing TPM is not clearly articulated by Smith. Extrapolating from his writing, however, the rationale may be found in Smith's understanding of omnipresence Omnipresence
See also Ubiquity.
supreme being and pervasive spirit of the universe. [Islam: Leach, 36]
all-seeing leader watches every move. [Br. Lit.: 1984]
God sees all things in all places. . Smith (2000) wrote, "The fact is, Jesus is 'ever-present' and does reside in every memory event ..." (p. 134). Smith used this line of argument to suggest that Jesus can bring present relief through His literal presence in a person's memory. However, the idea that God's omnipresence resides within human memory or that God is somehow required to reveal his presence within one's memory is neither part of orthodox theology nor a concept found in scripture. Scripture recounts numerous individuals who periodically encountered God personally or in visions (e.g., Moses, Samuel, Peter), the psalmists often cried out in desperation at encountering God's silence and seeming absence, and scripture made known that there were times in which revelation was rare (e.g., 1 Sam. 3:1). Thus, Smith's contention about such personal revelation within TPM has questionable legitimacy.
GUARANTEED HEALING AND SUPERIORITY OF METHOD
In his materials, Smith (1997, 2000) has not guaranteed healing of all distress (what he calls "total recovery") using TPM, but he has maintained that TPM will bring about complete recovery of a specific memory within a Theophostic session. Despite being met with skepticism about TPM, Smith has insisted on the effectiveness of his method (see Smith, 1997, p. 60). Smith's conclusions in this regard are almost exclusively based on case study material, which can neither substantiate the hypothetical mechanisms of TPM nor demonstrate empirical efficacy beyond individual cases. Additionally, it may well be that TPM is effective in some cases, though the mechanism of effectiveness may be extraneous ex·tra·ne·ous
1. Not constituting a vital element or part.
2. Inessential or unrelated to the topic or matter at hand; irrelevant. See Synonyms at irrelevant.
3. to the theory behind it (e.g., placebo effect placebo effect
A beneficial effect in a patient following a particular treatment that arises from the patient's expectations concerning the treatment rather than from the treatment itself. , hypnotic hypnotic /hyp·not·ic/ (hip-not´ik)
1. inducing sleep.
2. an agent that induces sleep.
3. pertaining to or of the nature of hypnosis or hypnotism. symptom reduction, etc.).
Smith's (1997, 2000) claims about TPM have not been tempered by the lack of empirical data on TPM, nor tentatively phrased in the manner of good theory. His assertions have extended in ways that, absent empirical evidence, are potentially dangerous, such as the claim that TPM can remove the need for psychopharmacological psy·cho·phar·ma·col·o·gy
The branch of pharmacology that deals with the study of the actions, effects, and development of psychoactive drugs.
psy intervention (Smith, 2000, p. 77). In his client manual, Smith (1997) made similar claims, but at least issued a warning not to go off medication without seeking the advice of a medical doctor. However, his contention that most TPM clients will no longer need psychopharmacological intervention portends knowledge of epidemiology and medicine that are utterly unsubstantiated by empirical research Noun 1. empirical research - an empirical search for knowledge
inquiry, research, enquiry - a search for knowledge; "their pottery deserves more research than it has received" , and outside of the realm of Smith's stated training and expertise.
Superiority of Method
Smith's (1997, 2000) client and training manuals include declarations that TPM is superior to other therapeutic methods. For instance, Smith's (1997) client manual includes the assertion, "Even the current so called 'brief therapy' is slow compared to the instantaneous release found using TheoPhostic counseling" (p. 9). Smith (2000) asserted that other counseling approaches are not biblical, reflect a salvation of works, and are less effective than TPM since they offer only "tolerable recovery" rather than "genuine recovery" (pp. 21-22).
TPM practitioners may or may not belong to professional associations. Wilder and Smith (2002) rightly point out that "one need not be a member of an association for its statements to be used as a standard of conduct if it can be argued that the association represents the standard for your group" (p. 90). Organizations for both licensed and unlicensed counselors have published standards that may be applicable to TPM practitioners. For example, claims that imply, guarantee cure, or advertise superiority over other methods of intervention have been condemned in the ethical codes of most professional counseling groups (e.g., APA (All Points Addressable) Refers to an array (bitmapped screen, matrix, etc.) in which all bits or cells can be individually manipulated.
APA - Application Portability Architecture , 2002; AAPC AAPC American Academy of Professional Coders (National Organization headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah)
AAPC American Association of Political Consultants
AAPC Avis d'Appel Public à la Concurrence (France) , 1994). The AAPC Code of Ethics Code of Ethics can refer to:
Wilder and Smith (2002) offered a unique approach to avoiding the aforementioned issue. Noting that licensed professionals can be sued for making claims that their techniques are better than others, they opined that the same is not true of ministers. "Ministers, on the other hand, must only face backbiting back·bite
v. back·bit , back·bit·ten , back·bit·ing, back·bites
To speak spitefully or slanderously about (another).
v.intr. and criticism for claiming to be better than other ministries" (p. 60). Whether or not the claim that ministers cannot be sued for claiming superiority is disputable dis·put·a·ble
Open to dispute; debatable: disputable testimony.
dis·put . Even ministers, however, should be responsible to limit their claims to what is defensible de·fen·si·ble
Capable of being defended, protected, or justified: defensible arguments.
de·fen in the light of available evidence, and evidence regarding effectiveness and efficacy can be sought empirically.
EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICACY
Whether or not a treatment method is theoretically coherent, it may provide amelioration a·me·lio·ra·tion
1. The act or an instance of ameliorating.
2. The state of being ameliorated; improvement.
Noun 1. from suffering. The history of psychology is replete with examples of treatment methods whose theoretical underpinnings were ultimately found wanting, but which nonetheless provided a degree of relief for some individuals, whether as a mere placebo effect or as a direct result of treatment efficacy. Smith's (1997, 2000) argument for the effectiveness of TPM is almost exclusively based on case studies. To establish whether or not it works, Smith advocated that practitioners simply try TPM. While case studies may point to effectiveness in singular situations, efficacy cannot be reliably established or generalized via case study, personal experience, or client testimonial.
Garzon, et al. (2001) attempted to look at this question by surveying individuals who were attending an Advanced TPM training seminar regarding perceived efficacy of TPM. Of course, perceived effectiveness--especially by those committed to a method--is not comparable to empirical outcome data. Similarly, in surveying individuals attending a TPM seminar, one would have to temper the results by noting that the survey was administered to a self-selected, and hence presumably biased, sample. However, to date, no true outcome studies with adequate controls have been conducted. Future research, using manualized delivery of TPM, would be necessary to adequately evaluate its efficacy. At the present, without the establishment of empirical support, TPM is being applied to the treatment of diverse disorders and conditions.
APPLICATION OF TPM TO DIAGNOSES
Genuine Recovery, Smith's (1997) orientation manual for individuals undergoing TPM, is apparently aimed primarily at victims of abuse. The majority of the case examples provided in the book involve sequelae sequelae Clinical medicine The consequences of a particular condition or therapeutic intervention of sexual abuse. Smith admitted that TPM was developed "primarily for ministering to adult sexual abuse survivors" (Wilder & Smith, 2002, cover page). Smith's (1997, 2000) materials, however, make it clear that the method has been applied well beyond this population. According to the Theophostic Ministries' website, TPM has been "highly effective" in the treatment of "Sexual Abuse Issues," "Marital Issues," "Substance Abuse and other addictive behaviors," "Traumatic memory," "Post traumatic stress Traumatic stress is recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders  as an acute emotional condition associated with reactive anxiety. syndrome," "Grief and Loss," "Eating Disorders eating disorders, in psychology, disorders in eating patterns that comprise four categories: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, rumination disorder, and pica. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation to avoid obesity. ," "Children's issues," "Dissociative Disorders Dissociative Disorders Definition
The dissociative disorders are a group of mental disorders that affect consciousness defined as causing significant interference with the patient's general functioning, including social relationships and employment. ," "Homosexuality," "Satanic Ritual Abuse This article or section has multiple issues:
* It contains "Criticism" or "Controversy" section(s), thusly violating the Manual of Style.
* It may contain inappropriate or misinterpreted citations which do not verify the text. ," and "All lie-based issues" (Theophostic Ministries, n.d., [paragraph] 3 & 4). On the other hand, Smith (1997) asserted, "When a person is suffering from true mental illness or brain damage, this method will not work.... Many people we see have been labeled as mentally ill, when in fact they were suffering from lies" (pp. 43-44). Smith thus seems to have confused the issue of whether TPM effectively treats legitimate mental disorders mental disorders: see bipolar disorder; paranoia; psychiatry; psychosis; schizophrenia. or simply misdiagnosed mental disorders. Further, he made bold claims that many entities that would typically be called mental disorders are the result of hidden lies in memory. Thus, Smith's (1997) assertion that many wrongly diagnosed individuals are merely "suffering from lies" would appear to be at variance with his (2000) claim that traditional mental illnesses are based on lies.
Garzon et al. (2001) surveyed individuals using Theophostic counseling. Their responses to the item "I have treated the following conditions with Theophostic ministry" included depression, anger, generalized anxiety, sexual abuse, abuse, panic, phobias Phobias Definition
A phobia is an intense but unrealistic fear that can interfere with the ability to socialize, work, or go about everyday life, brought on by an object, event or situation. , DID, addictions, and eating disorders. It is troubling that TPM is being used to treat serious and diverse disorders absent any published empirical research on TPM supporting its efficacy across such applications.
MINISTRY VERSUS COUNSELING INTERVENTION
Some of the major issues that could potentially pose ethical problems and legal liability--such as making unsubstantiated promises of cure, claiming superiority of method, and application to a broad range of diagnoses without documented empirical evidence of efficacy--have already been noted. A fundamental question that may mitigate the degree or type of legal exposure, however, is whether TPM is indeed a counseling technique or a religious practice. Smith (2000) revised the name of his approach from Theophostic Counseling to Theophostic Ministry:
If you are a lay minister, I encourage you to discontinue the use of the word "counseling" as a description of what you do. The legality of this term may be a point of indictment you want to avoid. We are removing this word from all of our promotional materials since Theophostic is truly not counseling, but rather ministry. (p. 2)
Wilder and Smith (2002) went so far as to claim "the words counseling, counselee, client, therapy or any terms that depict counseling ... [are] not descriptive of Theophostic Ministry" (p.6). Two issues seem to be important at this juncture. First, counseling does not cease to be counseling by calling it "ministry" anymore than surgery ceases to be surgery by calling it by another name. The issue is not what it is called, but what it is. Thus, the crucial question is whether Theophostic procedures fall under the definition of counseling imposed not by Smith, but by State regulatory agencies state regulatory agency A state body responsible for establishing professional standards, and for certifying professionals or organizations through appropriate documentation . Secondly, while some states have title laws that protect the use of titles (such as "psychologist" or "social worker"), most states have practice laws that limit the use of certain types of interventions to appropriately trained and credentialed individuals. Merely avoiding the title "counselor" may not be sufficient to avoid the legal entanglements of practicing without a license.
If a state that has practice laws were to deem that TPM is a method of counseling, laypersons using this method could potentially find themselves in legal jeopardy for practicing without a license. For licensed individuals who adopt TPM methods, the matter is equally hazardous. If TPM is considered to be a religious practice, then one could conceivably be found to have committed fraud if billing for TPM as a professional service. In this regard, Wilder and Smith (2002) rightly noted that "care needs to be taken in billing to insure that ministry services are not billed to insurance as therapy" (p. 113), since doing so would constitute fraud. In the event that TPM is considered to be a spiritual intervention consistent with psychological practice, the issues of informed consent and avoiding the imposition of therapist values must still be addressed (Scott & Potts, 1995).
Wilder and Smith (2002) published a book intended to minimize exposure to litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.
When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation. . Neither Smith's (e.g., 1997, 2000) materials nor the Theophostic Ministry website (at the date of this article) comply with Wilder and Smith's suggestion that unlicensed individuals should "avoid all terminology and jargon that belongs to the professional community such as dissociation, multiple personality, alters, subconscious, disorders, etc." (p.48). On the other hand, in what can only be acknowledged as sound advice, Smith advised, "If you are unaware of what the state and local laws are for ministry in your area, you are a lawsuit waiting to happen. There really is no excuse for being ignorant of your local laws and requirements" (p.8).
SMITH'S RESPONSE TO CRITICISM
Defense Without Data
Critics of Smith and TPM have emerged, largely on internet sites, and almost without exception the critics have not come from within the professional mental health community. Bobgan and Bobgan (1999) wrote a book extremely critical of Theophostic Counseling. The book is predictably critical of Smith's method, since the authors have written numerous books that assert that psychotherapy is inconsistent with orthodox Christianity The term Orthodox Christianity may refer to:
tr.v. re·proved, re·prov·ing, re·proves
1. To voice or convey disapproval of; rebuke. See Synonyms at admonish.
2. To find fault with. the authors (though not by name) for attempting to publicly expose his errors rather than approaching him in private, citing the injunction of Matthew 18:15. When private sin against an offended party is at issue, such privacy is called for, but when doctrinal correctness is at issue, public reproof is clearly acceptable, as evidenced by Paul's public pronouncement of his opposition to Peter's hypocrisy (Gal. 2:11), as well as several of the epistles EPISTLES, civil law. The name given to a species of rescript. Epistles were the answers given by the prince, when magistrates submitted to him a question of law. Vicle Rescripts. directly condemning rival doctrines, and instructions to contend against false teaching (e.g., I Tim. 1:3; Jude 1:3-4). Furthermore, the work of professionals in virtually all disciplines is subject to public critique so that knowledge may increase by the free exchange of ideas. Consequently, there does not seem to be a defensible rationale--theologically or academically--which should protect Smith's published work from public discourse.
Smith (1997, 2000) has clearly been aware that his method has been met with skepticism. Smith (2000) admitted that many lay ministers and pastors trained in TPM have become discouraged by "skepticism" about TPM (p. 251). Smith recommended confronting this obstacle through "avoidance of the name Theophostic" (p. 252), instead simply describing it as "a Biblical approach to ministry that allows Jesus to bring truth to the lies one believes" (p. 253). Such a proposal seems incongruously in·con·gru·ous
1. Lacking in harmony; incompatible: a joke that was incongruous with polite conversation.
2. deceptive for a method supposedly based on exposing lies with truth.
Smith's (2001) reply to criticism in several cases has been to insinuate in·sin·u·ate
v. in·sin·u·at·ed, in·sin·u·at·ing, in·sin·u·ates
1. To introduce or otherwise convey (a thought, for example) gradually and insidiously. See Synonyms at suggest.
2. that people are attacking him out of their own personal woundedness. It seems unlikely that all opponents of Smith's views are motivated by the biases and ill will that he perceives. Contrary to Smith's assertions, the data simply are not in, and absent those data, his claims are, at best, unsubstantiated.
The Quest for Verb 1. quest for - go in search of or hunt for; "pursue a hobby"
quest after, go after, pursue
look for, search, seek - try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of; "The police are searching for clues"; "They are searching for the "Undeniable Evidence"
While Smith himself has seemingly been content with case studies and client testimonials, he has recognized that his method will be met with resistance unless empirical evidence can support his claims. Smith (2001) issued a personal appeal to raise funds for research on TPM to be conducted at the "Theophostic Ministry Research Center," "a subdivision of Regent University's 'Christian Interventions Research Institute'" (p. 3). While Smith sought to raise money to validate the effectiveness of TPM methods, Wilder and Smith (2002) issued opposing advice in claiming "ministry and prayer should not be evaluated by professional standards ..." (p.21). Obviously, Smith cannot have it both ways.
Of the studies to be performed at Regent University Notable faculty
Name Position Known For
John Ashcroft Distinguished Professor of Law and Government Former Attorney General of the United States and Politician
Admiral Vern Clark Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies Former Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. , Smith (2001) wrote, "Their research will provide undeniable evidence of what the Lord Jesus is doing through Theophostic Ministry" (p. 3). Given that this research may well end up surveying the very people from whom Smith solicited money for the research (i.e. TPM practitioners), an added confound con·found
tr.v. con·found·ed, con·found·ing, con·founds
1. To cause to become confused or perplexed. See Synonyms at puzzle.
2. may be introduced into a sample that will likely already be biased by prior commitment to the method under investigation.
Contrary to Smith's presumption of empirical support for TPM, good science does not presume its conclusions at the outset; in fact, good science predicts the null hypothesis null hypothesis,
n theoretical assumption that a given therapy will have results not statistically different from another treatment.
n . Good science holds hypotheses tentatively, being willing to modify them based on the evidence. Good science may well find that TPM is efficacious ef·fi·ca·cious
Producing or capable of producing a desired effect. See Synonyms at effective.
[From Latin effic for a certain subset of the population--particularly those who seek TPM out based on a shared mindset--but it is likely that many of Smith's claims will lack the "undeniable evidence" that he has proclaimed in advance. In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile , the current state of affairs for TPM includes a large number of unsubstantiated claims, some very questionable assumptions both theologically and psychologically, and some significant potential legal and ethical issues.
Since its inception by Smith in 1995, TPM's growth as an intervention strategy among paraprofessionals appears to be significant, with some interest evidently initiated from professional mental health practitioners as well. Nevertheless, significant concerns exist. Smith's current methods of teaching TPM through brief seminars and videotaped materials may be inadequate to establish ethical and technical competence technical competence,
n the ability of the practitioner, during the treatment phase of dental care and with respect to those procedures combining psychomotor and cognitive skills, consistently to provide services at a professionally acceptable level. . Claims that TPM involves divinely guided healing in which a literal appearance of God should be expected are not well supported. Ethical and legal concerns exist regarding apparent claims guaranteeing healing and claiming superiority of method. Application of TPM to a wide variety of mental disorders without sufficient empirical validation An empirical validation of a hypothesis is required for it to gain acceptance in the scientific community. Normally this validation is achieved by the scientific method of hypothesis commitment, experimental design, peer review, adversarial review, reproduction of results, is troubling. Also at issue is the legal question of whether TPM should be considered a religious intervention or a counseling procedure, and the ethical issue of trying to settle this question simply by changing the name from Theophostic Counseling to Theophostic Ministry. Finally, Smith's failure to welcome public analysis and critique of TPM is problematic. While further research may well find that TPM is effective with some populations, current claims in its behalf raise troubling ethical and legal concerns.
(1) A previous edition of Smith's client manual, Genuine Recovery--In an Instant!, listed Smith and his wife as the owners of "Family Care Counseling Center located in Campbellsville, Kentucky Campbellsville is a city in Taylor County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 10,498 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Taylor County,GR6 and the home of Campbellsville University. " and the publisher as "Family Care Publishing" (Smith, 1996, pp. i-ii). Wilder and Smith (2002) refer to Smith as the owner and director of "Alathia (truth) Equipping Center" (p. 171). Theophostic materials are self-published through Alathia, Inc.; the name is presumably taken from the Greek word [alpha][lambda][eta][theta Theta
A measure of the rate of decline in the value of an option due to the passage of time. Theta can also be referred to as the time decay on the value of an option. If everything is held constant, then the option will lose value as time moves closer to the maturity of the option. ][epsilon][iota][alpha], usually translated as true, worthy of credit, or truthful (Moulton, 1978).
Alexander, T. D., & Rosner, B. S. (Eds.). (2000). New dictionary of biblical theology Biblical Theology is a discipline within Christian theology which studies the Bible from the perspective of understanding the progressive history of God revealing God's self to humanity following the Fall and throughout the Old Testament and New Testament. . Downers Grove Downers Grove, village (1990 pop. 46,858), Du Page co., NE Ill.; settled 1832, inc. 1873. Downers Grove has undergone population growth and commercial development that include the construction of new office complexes. , IL: InterVarsity Press.
American Association American Association refers to one of the following professional baseball leagues:
American Psychological Association The American Psychological Association (APA) is a professional organization representing psychology in the US. Description and history
The association has around 150,000 members and an annual budget of around $70m. . (2002). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Washington, DC: APA.
Bidwell, K. (2001, February 5). Deliverance Deliverance
See also Freedom.
epithet of Zeus, meaning ‘releaser.’ [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 292–293]
(1783–1830) the great liberator of South America. [Am. Hist. debate: Unconventional 'Theophostic' counseling cites results in rebutting its critics. Christianity Today Christianity Today is an Evangelical Christian periodical based in Carol Stream, Illinois. It is the flagship publication of its parent company Christianity Today International, claiming circulation figures of 145,000 and readership of 304,500. , 18-19.
Bobgan, M., & Bobgan, D. (1999). TheoPhostic counseling: Divine revelation or psychoheresy?. Santa Barbara Santa Barbara (săn'tə bär`brə, –bərə), city (1990 pop. 85,571), seat of Santa Barbara co., S Calif., on the Pacific Ocean; inc. 1850. , CA: East-Gate.
Elwell, W. A. (1984). Evangelical dictionary of theology. Grand Rapids Grand Rapids, city (1990 pop. 189,126), seat of Kent co., SW central Mich., on the Grand River; inc. 1850. The second largest city in the state, it is a distribution, wholesale, and industrial center for an area that yields fruit, dairy products, farm produce, : Baker.
Garzon, F., Paloma, M. M., Gorsuch, R., Borden, C. R., & Terjsland, M. S. (2001, March). Theophostic ministry (healing of memories): Initial Survey Data. Paper presented at the meeting of Christian Association for Psychological Studies, Richmond, VA.
Moulton, H. K. (1978). The analytical Greek lexicon to the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Scanish, J. D., & McMinn, M. R. (1996). The competent lay Christian counselor. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 15, 29-37.
Scott, R. P. & Potts, R. W. (1995). Using spiritual interventions in psychotherapy: Practices, successes, failures, and ethical concerns of Mormon psychotherapists. Professional Psychology Research and Practice, 26, 163-170.
Seamonds, D. A. (1985). Healing of memories. Wheaton, IL: Victor.
Smith, E. M. (1996). Genuine Recovery--In an instant! Campbellsville, KY: Family Care Publishing.
Smith, E. M. (1997). Genuine recovery. Campbellsville, KY: Alathia.
Smith, E. M. (2000). Beyond tolerable recovery: Moving beyond tolerable existence into Biblical maintenance free victory!. Campbellsville, KY: Alathia.
Smith, E. M. (2001). Theophostic ministries update. [Newsletter].
Spanos, N. P., Burgess, C. A., Burgess, M. F., Samuales, C., & Blois, W. O. (1999). Creating false memories of infancy with hypnotic and non-hypnotic procedures. Applied Cognitive Psychology cognitive psychology, school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. It had its foundations in the Gestalt psychology of Max Wertheimer, Wolfgang Köhler, and Kurt Koffka, and in the work of Jean , 13, 201-218.
Theophostic Ministries. (n.d.). Theophostic Ministries. Retrieved October 8, 2002, from http://www.theophostic.com. Campbellsville, KY: Alathia, Inc.
Toh, Y-M Y-M Yamamoto-Miyakawa (algorithm) , & Tan, S-Y. (1997). The effectiveness of church-based lay counselors: A controlled outcome study. Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 16, 260-267.
Wilder, E. J., Y Smith, E. M. (2002). Keeping your ministry out of court. Campbellsville, KY: Alathia.
ENTWISTLE, DAVID David, in the Bible
David, d. c.970 B.C., king of ancient Israel (c.1010–970 B.C.), successor of Saul. The Book of First Samuel introduces him as the youngest of eight sons who is anointed king by Samuel to replace Saul, who had been deemed a failure. N. Address: Dept. of Psychology, Malone College There are two major Malone Colleges in the world:
Originally located in downtown Los Angeles at the corner of Sixth St. and Hope St., the university moved south to its present location in suburban La Mirada, California, in 1959. . Specializations: Teaching of Psychology; Clinical Psychology; Integration of Psychology and Theology.
DAVID N. ENTWISTLE
Correspondence concerning this article may be addressed to David N. Entwistle, PsyD, Dept. of Psychology, Malone College, 515 25th St., NW, Canton, OH 44709. Email: email@example.com.