Dr. Lynda Doty's Psychology Educational Background
My introduction to psychology was in the role of a “patient.” A marriage falling apart let me into therapy and, as the marriage continued to disintegrate, so did my fragile emotions. The psychiatrists treated me with psychotropic drugs, to which I became addicted. One of my therapists nearly destroyed my mother right before my eyes—the famous blame game. Another therapist prescribed what was then called “Open Marriage”—adultery on demand for both parties. Another one, a Christian, demanded that I accept my husband as he was, and live happily with the deception and adultery. One abuse followed another at the hands of the mental health professionals, and my depression only deepened. Folks who have read my books know my story of taking 700 powerful pills in an effort to end my life. This led to a series of hospitalizations.
I entered college as a freshman at age 29 to pursue a degree in journalism. My therapist at the time, however, convinced me to switch my major to psychology. In my emotionally weakened condition I obliged, and followed the path of psychology to a Bachelors, then to a Masters degree.
During my masters program, I thought about pursuing my doctorate in Industrial Psychology at Emory University but again acquiesced to my therapist’s belief, which was that my talents would be wasted outside the field of Clinical Psychology. (A strong-willed person like myself bending to the will of the psychologists revealed to me later just what kind of power these professionals possess!)
So I continued in clinical psychology toward a doctorate. Accepted in 1975 into an excellent program (by the world’s standards) in California, I loaded up my children and off we went. The longer I was in this school, however, the more I began to see something horribly wrong with the whole picture. Unable to reconcile the discrepancies between my studies and my Christian upbringing, I finally decided to drop out. With the clinical training under my belt, I worked in various agencies over the next few years. I entertained the idea of becoming state licensed but, frankly, I did not require it; I worked under the umbrella of the agency or government facility that employed me. Also, state licensing stresses “neutrality,” which is impossible to provide. Our values will always affect our counseling—for good or for bad.
Looking back I see God’s hand with me all the way. I became so disillusioned with psychology that I dropped out of the field entirely. I worked as a secretary, sales professional, and chamber of commerce executive. At this juncture, the Lord in His mercy, filled me with His Holy Spirit and my life was radically changed. The desire to help others remained strong and I wanted to return to school to complete my doctorate. I could not reconcile, however, my newfound faith with the training I had previously dropped out of. Finally, in 1992, God, knowing the desire of my heart, led me to a Christian university where I could complete my doctorate. With the clinical experience obtained at two accredited institutions, I plunged joyfully into finishing up the work for my Ph.D. I have never knowingly held out that this degree was from a government-accredited school. But I must say I was happy with the degree because I believed it to be the will of the Lord for me.
God rescued me from the world of psychology, and I do indeed consider it a rescue. I took my last antidepressant in 1975 and said goodbye to my final therapist. God gradually led me out of the work of the counselor and into the ministry of His Word. He showed me that His Word is all sufficient, and instructed me in His way of bringing healing and deliverance to a hurting people. There is no comparison! In all my years as a patient and doing the work of a psychological counselor, the results I saw were few—and often very damaging. I have seen God’s way work time and time again! Using His Word, the gifts of the Spirit, and the anointing can bring healing every time if the heart is willing.
I came to realize that the charging of fees places a tremendous burden on the counselor to solve the counselee’s problems. I took a job where I could leave the stress behind and be unencumbered to minister the Word to hurting people. If Paul could be a tentmaker, then I could design business stationery in a printing company!
Today my burden is for God’s hurting people who have fallen prey to the so-called Christian counselor—apostolic or otherwise. They’ve come to me, broken, after exhausting their financial resources and being dropped by their counselors. The horror stories I hear are too numerous to recount, and had I not been in the field myself, I would probably find them unbelievable. Years of therapy? That is the world’s way. The Bible tells us that God alone knows the state of a person’s heart. All the therapy in the world cannot uncover it. Hebrews 4: 12 tells us: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. My message, then, is let’s go to our Healer, the One who made us, for He alone knows us inside out and can fix the problem and heal the hurt.
Psychologists and counselors are not in the same ball game as the medical doctors. The mind is part of man’s very soul and, as such, should only be under the province of God. The mind and the brain are not the same thing. The brain belongs to the physical realm; the mind belongs to the spiritual realm. That is why I think nothing of taking an aspirin but would never again agree to a mind-altering drug.
I have by this time thrown out the psychology that I learned. It has been hard, because it was ingrained so deeply into me. I asked the Lord, Why did You lead me through all the education just so I could throw it all away? And I believe the Lord spoke plainly: That, my child, is indeed your very testimony!