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What is Life Transformation Therapy?
Life Transformation Therapy is professional counselling by one who is skilled in regular counseling as well as prayer therapy.
Within the context of professional Christian counselling prayer interventions are use which allow the concept, comfort, image and presence of God to transform individuals and relationships. help to marriages and hope to troubled people by providing a process for changing unhealthy identity patterns.
A marriage might need help because one person is a know it all, or needs to dominate everyone in their life, or tries to please everyone or acts as the family martyr. In a Life Transformation Prayer Therapy session this pattern is identified and turned over to God using one of the protocols that I have developed. A couple recently identified in the husband the pattern of always having to fix his wife's problems. After the Life Transformation therapeutic intervention he finds that he is aware of and able to avoid this controlling, Mr. Fix It pattern and that is relieving a pressure on his wife and improves the marriage.
Any treatment or therapy will be faster and more effective if it makes as its focus the most important factors in a person's life. We develop these foundational factors in childhood. Our attitudes, our outlook on life, our world view, our understanding of how life works is developed. The attitudes developed during key events and in relation to the key figures in our life will stay with us for life unless we have a method for changing core beliefs and the behaviour patterns, including the roles we take in close relationships. Life Transformation Therapy is a counselling method that is relatively effective in changing core beliefs and the personality patterns we get into in close relationships.
Since Life Transformation Therapy deals with core beliefs it can be seen as a prayerful implementation of cognitive behavioral therapy. The Christian aspect comes in our intervention protocols. The revelation of God's love and truth in one's life is used to effectively deal with problems For example, in one protocol we listen for God's truth to deal with core beliefs. The revelation of God's truth is the most accurate and effective method I know of to deal with our wrong beliefs.
When we need to visualize the presence of God, in Life Transformation Therapy we chose and visualize Jesus. We picture Jesus when we need forgiveness of sins. We picture Jesus when we need to talk to a spiritual mentor about our problems. It is Jesus that we picture helping us deal with identity patterns. It is Jesus we talk to when we need comfort. It is Jesus we call on when we need deliverance from the forces of evil - from demonic forces.
Life Transformation Therapy believes in God as the higher power that we need on our life. IN the AA movement when one's life is out of control one turns it over to a higher power. In Life Transformation Therapy God as revealed in Jesus is our higher power. We believe that when things in our life are out of control that it is wise to turn control of that aspect of our life to God. By turning problems over to God, Life Transformation Therapy seeks to bring about the clarity, guidance, and support that can only come from God
2. How did Life Transformation Therapy originally get started?
Research on using prayer to bring healing in mainline Christianity is fairly recent. Until the 1930's it was generally assumed that healing no longer occurred. The pioneers in the movement to rediscover effective prayer - such as Agnes Sanford - taught into the 1970's.
At that time it was a huge innovation when Agnes discovered that events from one's childhood that resulted in rage as an adult would respond to prayer. This was called various things like "healing of the memories" or "inner healing."
I began my learning about this field in the 1970's but it was only in the last five years that I had done enough fundamental innovation to give a unique name to what I do.
I basically used various innovations in my practice based on my past training in learning styles, psychodrama, Transactional Analysis, The Journey and the positive use of the imagination in prayer. I built on the broad general principle of Life Transformation Therapy is that an encounter with God will heal our lives.
I went on to develop various protocols or methods to engineer this encounter with God. For the visual learners I made a lot of use of imagination. For the audio learners I focused on listening to God and hearing His Word. For Kinesthetic learners there are methods that build upon one's awareness of feelings. So there are methods that will work with each style of learner.
Recently I have made the focus of my work identity change - letting old patterns die and bringing to birth a new identity; healing the core beliefs, feelings and memories that underlie the old identity and then building upon the new feelings and beliefs to support the new identity.
3. How did you get started in Christian Prayer Therapy?
A. I was working in the Psychology Department of a mental hospital in Alberta. I was in my own identity crisis and spiritual search. I investigated various spiritual teachers but in the end I has my own private encounter with God and was invited to give my life to Him. Soon after that I began to learn about healing prayer and inner healing prayer. I developed my knowledge and skills over the last 35 years.
4. What type of problems can prayer therapy be used to treat? (i.e. depression, marriage problems?) problems such as abuse, trauma, addictions, rage, relationship issues, emotional blocks and other problems people face in their day to day lives.
A. Life Transformation Prayer Therapy only treats marriage problems in the sense that as the individuals who make up the marriage become healed of early wound, core beliefs and dysfunctional personality patterns they will be able to build a better marriage.
Many, if not most emotional problems will benefit from this form of therapy.
For example: trauma, depression, anxiety, rage, can benefit from this approach - if the person is open to the method which involves listening to God.
5. What can one experience during a prayer therapy session?
My sessions involve 45 minutes of clinical interview and 45 minutes of prayer therapy. The interview, like most counselling, discusses the issues moving towards insight, understanding and, sometimes, guidance. Prayer therapy has various steps including:
1.Select the major focus or goal and tell god in prayer,
2.Declare Jesus as Lord, Healer, Deliverer and Saviour of the problem area in one's life.
3.Sometimes we visualize Jesus dealing with the problem / other times we select key memories related to the problem and deal with care beliefs in those memories.
4.When we deal with core beliefs it by identifying what seemed to be true in the traumatic event and then asking Jesus for His perspective, His truth.
6. How does prayer therapy differ from typical marriage counseling or life counseling?
Typical counselling depends on gaining insight, solving problems, working out and implementing solutions. Prayer therapy is more like the 12 Step Movement in that we are turning the problem over to God rather than trying to solve it ourselves.
In typical counselling we believe that our insight, knowledge and choices can solve the problem. In prayer therapy we are asking for God's action to solve the problem.
7. How are people changed after prayer therapy? How have you seen people change? (You can give examples if you wish)
People may find they have significant shift in perspective toward their main issue and their problem behaviour or feelings should have also shifted.
8. How many sessions of prayer therapy does one normally require to achieve effective and lasting results?
For difficult problems, but not deeply disturbed persons, I expect a breakthrough in 8 sessions. If the sessions stopped there I would expect that the person's life would have been changed in significant ways.
Some people have some core issues in terms of emotional development blocks, the inability to easily receive love, dissociation etc. Much more care and much more care and much more time is needed to make significant progress and that is not guaranteed.
9. Does one have to be of a specific faith in order to use prayer therapy as a means of healing?
One needs to have faith in God, be willing to 'listen' to God and to invite Jesus to be the mentor / healer in one's visualizing. So a particular religious orientation need not be an obstacle. A Hindu might be open to this approach and some rigid Christians could be quite closed.
counselling, marriage and family therapy, retreats or phone counseling: counselling
234-1850 for local calls in Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville
E-mail: e-mail G Hartwell