Select Page

021 | From Fixing to Attending: Faith-based Framework for the Use of Psychiatric Medications

Preconference Workshops


Warren Kinghorn, M.D.



Approved For CE

Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Pastors, Pastoral Counselors, Lay Counselors, and Coaches

Approved For CME/CEU

Medical Doctors, Osteopathic Doctors, Physicians Assistants, Midwives, Nurses and Nurse Practitioners




Many Americans take medications for mental health problems, and faith-based clients and patients often have questions about the appropriate use of psychiatric medications. While medications can be helpful, the way that psychologists, other licensed mental health professionals, medical professionals, and ministry leaders talk about medication is important, and can unintentionally mislead. All too often, the discussion about medication is formulated in a way that depicts the body and mind as a machine that needs to be adjusted or fixed with a drug—but this is scientifically inadequate and theologically wrong. In this workshop, participants will examine a framework for faith-based clients using medications that views humans not as machines but as wayfarers who are known and loved called to wonder, love, and praise.

Learning Objectives

List five dimensions of the “machine metaphor” that characterizes many psychologists, licensed mental health professionals, medical professionals, and ministry leaders understanding of psychiatric medication.
Describe recent research evidence that demonstrates the importance of the therapeutic relationship for the effectiveness of psychiatric medications, apart from the chemical action of the drugs.
Use both “inside-out” and “outside-in” formulations of mental health problems.
Outline four faith-based theological principles that guide wise use of psychiatric medications with faith-based clients.