“Experienced pastors, deacons, elders and even laymen and women did quite well at discerning the difference between demon possession/oppression and mental illness”
Makes one wonder what a five year FP/IM Psych residency is good for nowadays.
In terms of the psych residency . . . depends on one’s goals.
Even the profession’s own research has shown that a LOT of laymen, grandparents, etc. are great at helping others through emotional, mental, relationship problems somewhat on a par with highly educated professionals.
IIRC, there’s never been any research to demonstrate that
AS A CLASS OF PEOPLE,
credentialed, licensed folks were significantly to greatly better at a range of things than sensitive, communicative, discerning, caring lay persons.
Sure, I’m thankful for my PhD. It enhanced my skills, effectiveness with more difficult cases and life a lot. However, I did a lot of good, effective counseling before I had the PhD.
And with some sorts of cases, nothing sort of a Damascus road experience or major deliverance or a residential 3 year program . . . will do a whole lot of good, on average . . . unless some other sort of miracle occurs and the person decides they have had enough of living in that kind of pain and begins to do some opposite things to their usual.