Dobson teaches many unbiblical and unscientific faddish ideas
such as the Freudian theory that our lives are basically set by age six; the right-brain, left-brain myth; the birth-order pop-
psychology; and new age mind over matter. His fundamental teaching, however, has to do with self-esteem. His ideas on
this subject do not originate in Scripture because they are not found in Scripture, but rather in the humanistic teachings of Adler, Fromm, Maslow and Rogers.
Dobson's beliefs concerning our need for a good self-image can be found in all of his books and on virtually every radio broadcast of ''Focus on the family.‖ His famous illustration of Lee Harvey Oswald (Hide or Seek, p. 18|) explains his views well. In Prophets of Psychoheresy 11| the authors sum it up this way: ''Dobson's description of Oswald's life reveals a psychological viewpoint influenced by underlying ideologies of the Freudian unconscious, Adlerian inferiority, and the humanistic belief in the intrinsic goodness of man and the universal victimization of the individual by parents and society. The culprit is society (mainly parents) and the diagnosis is low self-esteem with feelings of inferiority and inadequacy. In fact, those feelings are presented as overwhelming and uncontrollable and thus cause rebellion. Therefore the universal solution to personal problems, rebellion, unhappiness, and hostility presented throughout Dobson's books is raising self-esteem'' (pp. 24, 25).
The following quote from What Wives Wished Their Husbands Knew About Women, states well Dobson's system, ―lf I could write a prescription for the women of the world, it would provide each one of them with a healthy dose of self-esteem and personal worth (taken three times a day until the symptoms disappear). I have no doubt that this is their greatest need'' (p. 35).
ln Understanding People, Crabb states, ―It is my view that counseling models must demonstrate more than consistency with Scripture; they must in fact emerge from it'' (p. 29). Yet, at the same time he believes in what he calls ''spoiling the Egyptians,'' (see p. 1 of this booklet) i e. taking the best from secular psychology and combining it with Christianity (something that not even Collins is sure can be done).
But as Martin Bobgan says, ―Glasser's responsibility has nothing to do with God or His measure of right and wrong; Ellis equates godlessness with mental health; the hope Fankl gives is not a sure hope because it is man-centered; the love of Fromm is a far cry from the love that Jesus teaches and gives; Adler's guide is self rather than God; Harris' acceptance disregards God's law; Freud hardly understood himself and he repudiated God; Perl's expression focuses on feelings and self; and Skinner's methods of self-control work better with animals than humans.
Why not give credit where credit is due? To the Lord and His Word! Why not look to God's Word concerning responsibility, truth, meaning, hope, love, guidance for effective living, understanding oneself, expression and self-control instead of rummaging around in the broken cisterns of the opinions of unredeemed men'' (Prophets of Psychoheresy 1, p. 134)?
Freud and Adler play a major role in the way Crabb views man. Freud taught that we each are controlled by a reservoir of drives and impulses that he called the unconscious. This is the basic theme of Inside Out, as Crabb instructs us to enter the dark regions of the soul to find light (p. 32). While in the dark cave of the soul, we are to explore the imperfection of key relationships until we experience deep disappointment (p.107). This self-induced confusion and disappointment supposedly leads to an awareness of our sin of self-protection to love (p. 196).
Adler, on the other hand, taught that behaviour is directed to the goal of overcoming inferiority and thereby gaining a sense
of worthwhileness in both relationships and tasks in life. It is from Adler that Crabb develops his theory that our behaviour is
motivated by needs for worthwhileness (deep longings) through security (relationships) and significance (impact) (see Bobgan, p. 132).
But as biblical counselor Wendell Miller says, ―Light is not found in the dark regions of our souls but in Jesus (John 14:6) and His Word (Psalm 1 19:130). Christian growth is not achieved by self-awareness but instead, it is a work of God (Philippians 1:6, 2:13) in which the believer obediently does 'of His good pleasure.‘ ''
Minirth & Meier
In the writings and broadcast ministries of these men, as with the Christian psychologists mentioned above, much of their teachings do not emerge from Scripture but can be traced to secular psychologists. If you would like to be a Freudian with a biblical facade, Minirth and Maier would be a good choice.
Note the following views, not found in Scripture but found in Freud, that are taught by these men:
- Depression is anger.
- The existence of the unconscious mind (in Happiness Is a Choice they equated ''heart'' in Jeremiah 17:9 with ''unconscious,'' no lexicon would agree).
- In Introduction to Psychology and Counseling (p. 298) they said, ―One can see in Paul's writings to early Christians some of the ideas later developed by Sigmund Freud (id, superego, ego).''
- At least partially believe in Odeipus Complex (see Happiness pp. 80-97)
- Believe in dream analysis (in Happiness, pp. 1 14, 1 15 they say, ―In our dreams all of our current unconscious conflicts are symbolized. Every dream has symbolic meaning. Dreams are usually unconscious wish fulfillments in symbolic form‖)
- Believe in unconscious defense mechanism.
- Teach that 85% of adult behaviour patterns are set by their sixth birthday
- Often recommend insight therapy (in the Psychotherapy Handbook it says, ―the history of insight psychotherapy can be traced to Freud‖).
In addition to the source of their information, Minirth and Meier often make statements that they claim to be fact that do not even have a basis in research. For example, in Happiness they say, ''Holding grudges depletes certain brain chemicals and therefore results in depression. Forgiveness restores those chemicals.'' The first statement is unproven and the second is unheard of in research. Another is that homosexuality is a result of an absent father, while lesbianism is a result usually of an absent or hostile mother and, by Freudian necessity, before the age of six (see Bobgan, p.303).