A WORD FROM DR. BERGER
The current construct of mental illness is broken. Since the institution of this psychiatric system and the suggestion that psychotropic drugs provide the best remedy to treat the mind, the number of people being diagnosed with mental illness has skyrocketed. Instead of being a system that heals and de-stigmatizes those who are struggling, the clinicians through the current paradigm label people as abnormal and cause further mental problems.
It has become my burden to help people shake the false identity and stigmatization of being labelled as mentally ill and to find genuine hope and proven answers to their mental, emotional, and behavioral problems. In recent years this burden has shifted from just counseling individuals and families to training and equipping pastors, clinicians, doctors, counselors, and parents to disciple and effectively help those under their care. Much of the last 9 years of my life has been devoted to researching and writing on the many issues that comprise the idea of mental illness, and many people are now beginning to listen to truth as it is presented in a loving way. A shift has occurred in the last several years where many people have begun turning back to the sufficiency of Christ and realizing with renewed interest that the answers to even the most confounding mental states, traumatic events, and maladaptive behaviors are found in God's Word. I believe the next ten years will see many more people return to realize the genuine remedy to their minds/souls rests in God's grace and not in human mechanisms and human wisdom.
The the current widely accepted secular construct was first suggested by Emil Kraepelin in the late 1800s and was set aside while the Freudian psychoanalytic construct flourished for several decades. In the 1950s, however, the American Psychiatric Association dismissed Freud's psychoanalytic construct as spurious thinking and replaced it with Kraepelin's paradigm (The brain-dysfunction theory, pharmacology, and genetic theory). In the early 1960s, Kraepelin's construct would be altered significantly by Dr. Bob Spitzer, but it would still remain the anthropological lens by which much of secular society views mental struggles. Despite its wide acceptance, most people in today's society have no idea who Emil Kraepelin was let alone the destructive and horrific history of his theory being applied.
Alethia (Greek for truth) International Ministries (AIM) was created as a tool to help others to know God's truth that alone can genuinely heal the mind. There is also a need to sift through the overwhelming amount of deceptive and speculative theories that exist concerning the mind, the brain, and the idea of mental illness. The goal of Alethia is not merely to expose deception, however, but to provide God's truth that fills the void where secular ideology/worldview is incompetent to heal and has failed to help individuals let alone societies. Often, this does not begin with practical applications, but discovering the true history and philosophies behind the constructs of mental illness.
Scripture declares in passages such as Jeremiah 17:9 that the human heart (used metaphorically to describe the mind/soul) is deceitful above all things known to man and "incurably sick." If deception is the foundational "sickness" of the mind, then God's truth/grace - presented in a loving way - is the genuine remedy. God's Word not only claims that "the truth will set us free," it effectively fulfills this promise. Unlike the "magic bullets" of secularism, however, Scripture presents mental restoration/healing as a lifelong process culminating in eternity. Instead of a magic pill, Scripture presents the "Gos-pill" (the gospel; Eli Loewenthal) as the only genuine hope to heal the mind. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
The gospel is not just a theory, it is the proven and altruistic power to save and restore our minds. In fact, there exist many living examples throughout the world, which testify and illustrate the clear efficacy of God's Word to bring about mental healing even from the most troubling mindsets and behaviors and provide faith to overcome the most difficult environments and life circumstances. AIM does not exist to offer a new paradigm to replace the failing Kraepelinian construct, it aims to set God's proven means of mental restoration at the forefront so that many can be transformed and find the genuine hope found in Christ. Prior to Kraepelin's failing theory of mental illness, God's Word was restoring souls and making all things new. AIM is not promoting a new theory, but upholding the one truth - though regularly attacked from many angles - that has remained efficient to deliver/remedy the human soul.
Because of our craving to label and categorize others, some people have asked if I am a psychologist, a historian, or a theologian, to name a few. If I had to put a label on what God has called me to do, I would prefer to be called a "psychtheologist": one who studies and discusses the soul from the Creator God's perspective. Psychiatrists attempt to treat the soul with medicine, and psychologists claim to study the soul through humanistic mechanisms and science, I choose to study the soul through knowing the One in whose image we are all made and to the image we all need to be restored. This perspective does not exclude scientific knowledge; rather, natural truth the is observable and repeatable supports unseen truth that is real and by which the natural world was made (Hebrews 11:1-3).