Wholistic Healing for Depression: The Unrealized Gift of Biblical Anthropology

Abstract by Carlos Fayard

While the Adventist church has espoused a biblical anthropology that affirms the indivisibility of human nature {bio-psycho-spiritual-social) for decades, only recently a whole-person approach for the prevention and treatment of emotional distress has been widely embraced by mainstream mental health providers. The articulation of a wholistic perspective differs on how “spirituality” is defined. After a brief review of the literature on depression, highlighting a wholistic perspective, I will expound on the psychological contours of two aspects of biblical anthropology relevant to wholistic healing, namely spirituality as a core and indivisible component of being and love as an organizer of psychological experience. An ambitious agenda to realize the gift of wholistic healing for depression will be summarized with specific examples as to how the church may contribute to the prevention, early detection and treatment of these conditions. In doing so, we may also contribute to decrease disparities in mental health. The implications for education and training in Adventist institutions will be discussed.