Saturday, November 30, 2013


The church I grew up in grew out of what was called the Second Great Awakening.  The two most prominent men of what is now known as the Restoration movement were Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone.  They both wanted unity in the church, but as was recently pointed out by Michael Hines in The Restoration Herald they disagreed on how to accomplish the task.  Campbell thought unity could only be based on agreement on what the Bible said.  Stone was more interested in casting "abroad the sweep-net of the gospel, which gathers fishes of every kind."  Campbell remained to his death an advocate of restoring the primitive practices of the New Testament church.

Here we are faced with an example of one of the biggest questions a person must decide.  Does one compromise for the sake of unity or for that matter any reason?  In our country today everyone seems to be calling for the people in Washington, DC to compromise and get something done.  I know you have been told that compromise is good and a reality of life.

Recently, I was asked to attend a meeting at a provider's location to discuss with an ACT Team what the person being served was doing that was dividing their family from the team.  I said I would not attend a meeting that started out with the premise that the problem was the person.  Should I have compromised? 

This business about compromise is complicated.  I agree more with Stone than Campbell about the church issue.  I don't think we can turn the clock back two thousand years and have a church that is exactly like the church described in the New Testament.

However, I could not bring myself to compromise on the idea that the meeting should be about looking at the ACT Team, the support people including me and the person.  I could not agree it was even close to being person-centered to hold a meeting with an agenda of only discussing what was wrong with the person being served.

I have written before that I don't think that Assertive Community Treatment Teams by their very design have much chance of being person-centered, and this deal did nothing to change my mind.

  • "It is the client who knows what hurts, what directions to go, what problems are crucial, what experiences have been deeply buried." --From On Becoming a Person, 1961
How did Carl Rogers know this in 1961 and only the minority in the mental health arena know it in December 2013? 

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