Interview with Kirby Chua
Kirby Chua has just released a new title, “The Bible’s Secrets to Counselling: Helping You Access Scientific Pyschology Through the Light of God’s Word”.
Hi Kirby! You already are a trained psychologist with clinical experience. Why do you feel the need to incorporate Christian counselling into your service to clients?
KC: Reaching roadblocks in therapy isn’t uncommon as modern theories do not provide the basic answers to most of my clients’ questions. I have come across clients who simply need to love themselves more but were stopped at points when they start asking ‘why’? They do believe that loving themselves would lead to a healthier lifestyle, but they do not believe that they deserve love.
Humanistic therapy, for example, would simply say that one has to love themselves because human beings deserve to be loved. The whole reasoning stops there.
When faced with existential or even spiritual questions, such as “Why should I forgive myself?” or “Why should I love myself?”, psychology keeps silent because it cannot provide the answer. But all honest clients would continue asking, “What have I done to warrant this self-love?” This is one question which modern psychology cannot answer and thus, it is a huge gap towards the healing of our clients.
Incorporating Christian Counselling for our clients gives us a deeper foundation to the nature of man and mental health. Besides basing self-love on our humanity alone, we remind people of what Jesus Christ has done on the cross; not just to promote self-love but also for the other fundamentals such as forgiving oneself and believing for a great future.
Counselling and therapy is all about having our deepest questions in life answered; and what better way to answer these questions than the truth brought about by our Saviour, Jesus Christ?
The honest client will find it hard to forgive himself and obtain self-love. The informed client, however, knows he has sinned but the Son of God has died for those sins, and now he has the heavenly right to stand back up and live his life with boldness and confidence.
Your book is very comprehensive. What inspired you to write a book on counselling using biblical principles? How did you persevere to complete it, especially since you are busy practising as a psychologist?
I take what the Apostle Paul said about the Bible seriously, that it is God breathed (2 Tim 3:15) and that it is useful in all circumstances (2 Tim 3:16). Everything good in this world came about because of God’s instructions and all the ugly things were born because we refused to follow them.
I started viewing all good things as being ‘stolen’ from God’s word. I recall a time I was explaining to a bunch of angry parents that even meditation began in the Bible. The connection of happiness and health comes from the Bible. The concept of happy relationships—loving your spouse, wishing your enemies well, being generous to others—comes from the Bible. Then on, I realised that even the science of psychology ‘stole’ tons of stuff from the Bible. All these teachings on self-love, forgiveness, mindfulness; all these are found in the Bible! The world has been benefiting from the very wisdom of God while at the same time the world is using it to be independent of God! Thus, I wanted to write a book on Biblical principles to give credit to Whom credit is due. The science and art of counselling came from the Bible!
I recall making the decision to write this book in 2009. I was running my practice at Grace Counselling Centre and at the same time teaching psychology in various private schools. It was hectic, but God created time for me to work on this project. I wrote everything on my phone and ‘stitched’ them together on the computer. I call it the perks of riding public transportation to work.
What are your aspirations for the mental health of the people in society?
I will always refer to John 10:10 for my goals for the people in society: The Abundant Life that Jesus Christ paid for on the cross. I envision a society that is cognizant of who Jesus Christ is and what Jesus Christ has done for us on the cross. It will be a society without fear, without insecurity, without anger; it will be a healthy society of love and worship.
Mental health is nothing more than being able to be who your Creator made you to be and still be loved for it. People will be doing things they love and be genuinely loved for it.
Kirby Chua is a Singapore Registered Psychologist and a registered Clinical Supervisor with 15 years of practice in this field. Kirby has trained and supervised over a thousand counsellors and psychologists in both Singapore and the Philippines, including the Singapore Police Force for suicide intervention and the Housing Development Board for basic counselling. In the Christian circles, Kirby has shared his work at One Hope Centre, Alive Community and Lighthouse Evangelism. Kirby is Founder and Director of Grace Counselling Centre, the first private Christian Counselling Centre in Singapore. He is currently training future psychologists in James Cook University, University of Wollongong (under SIM) and the Singapore Institute of Technology.
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