Descriptions and Prescriptions by Michael R. Emlet


Release Date: September 2017

Publisher: New Growth Press

ISBN: 9781945270116

Genre: Non-Fiction / Mental Health / Psychology & Counseling

About the Book:

OCD, ADHD, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder . . . these are no longer just technical terms and medical diagnoses, they are part of our common vocabulary and culture.
As Christians, we shouldn’t isolate ourselves from this discussion or dismiss these important issues. But we also should be careful not to accept the entire secular psychiatric diagnostic and treatment enterprise without question. What we need is a balanced, biblically (and scientifically) informed approach that neither blindly accept nor harshly dismisses psychiatric labels, diagnoses, and medicines that are prescribed to help those who are suffering.

As both a Biblical counselor and medical doctor, Michael R. Emlet, MD, gives readers a Christ-centered approach to psychiatry and guides both lay and professional helpers through the thicket of mental health labels and treatments with a biblical lens. In a clear and thoughtful way that puts the person experiencing mental health issues at the forefront, Emlet uses Scripture to show how the Bible engages in the discussion of psychiatric labels and the medications that are often recommended based on those labels. The first book in the “Helping the Helper” series, Descriptions and Prescriptions will give readers a biblical, gospel-formed perspective to help them understand and minister to those struggling with mental health issues.

My Thoughts:

Before I begin my review, it is important to mention that Descriptions and Prescriptions by Michael R. Emlet are geared towards pastors and those who work in the mental health field. It is not written for patients with a diagnosis seeking answers.

Now I can begin my review. I originally picked this up because this is a huge topic amongst Christian counselors. Or at least it was the Christian college I attended and received my counseling degree. The main reason that I was able to understand what the author was talking about most of the time was that I studied the DSM. If you’re not familiar with that, then all of the medical jargon will be quite confusing.

The author explains in the first section of the book what descriptions really how and the history behind them. The second half of the book is about prescriptions and how they can be both helpful and unhelpful. The author also shares that while prescriptions can be practical and helpful, they aren’t a cure-all, and longs to help his patients have a relationship with the Lord. Most of his writing is neutral, but he explains that there needs to be some kind of balance which I highly agree with.

While none of the information is new, this is a book that I think many Christians do need to read through because this is a topic that is often misunderstood. Although Christians are starting to be a little more accepting of things, many still think that many mental illnesses are derived from sin. While some are, not all of them are. I found the book quite interesting and the author shares sound theology and Scriptures to back up each statement.

Highly recommended, especially since the book is short!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

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About Michael R. Emlet:

unnamedMichael R. Emlet, MDiv, MD, practiced as a family physician for over ten years before becoming a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He is the author of the book “CrossTalk: Where Life & Scripture Meet,” the mini-books “Asperger Syndrome;” “Chronic Pain;” “Angry Children: Understanding and helping Your Child Regain Control;” and “Help for the Caregiver: Facing the Challenges with Understanding and Strength,” and many counseling articles.
Find out more about Michael at


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2 thoughts on “Descriptions and Prescriptions by Michael R. Emlet

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