Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Descriptions and Prescriptions by Michael R Emlet

Descriptions and Prescriptions is a short book building a biblical framework to understand psychiatric diagnoses and the use of psychoactive medications using scripture as the groundwork to build upon. The book is set up with two parts. In Part 1, the author presents a balanced assessment of psychiatric diagnosis. In Part 2, he uses case studies for illustration.

The book lists several concerns with the psychiatric diagnostic system. One being: …some psychiatric diagnoses “medicalize” sinful behavior. Is it medical or is it sin?
There is a chapter on Implications for Ministry, directed to pastoral care and counsel. Michael Emlet brings a strong case for not everyone who suffers from psychiatric diagnoses needs medicine. Sometimes they just need a friend, or as in the case of ADHD and French kids not being diagnosed with that as much, a differing viewpoint as to what is acceptable. He emphasizes that a diagnoses is a starting point not an ending point.

In Part 2, first he notes that pastors, counselors, and other helpers must be familiar with the psychoactive medications. Then he states that the goals of this section are to: familiarize you with the basic classes of psychoactive medications, review what we know about the mechanism of action and efficacy of such drugs with a particular focus on antidepressants, and discuss a biblical approach to psychoactive medications. This part of the book breaks down the medications, how they work, how effective they are. This section uses scripture to show hazards to spiritual growth.

I like how the author didn’t push one way or the other about not taking any medications or staying on medications. He understood how to study each case before him and take other things into account. If you enjoy reading about the psychiatric diagnostic system and how it pertains to scripture and what God has to say about man, this is the book for you. It’s short enough you can read it in one day, but goes into enough detail to tell you what the author is thinking and show you how he would deal with a few example cases.

I received a free copy of this book in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion-which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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