About Therapon


There is a new faith-based therapeutic model called "Belief Therapy" that is sweeping through Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi like a revival!  Dr. Paul Carlin is the founder of The Therapon Institute and Belief Therapy.  He began developing the two Biblical concepts in November of 1988. Carlin's Therapon concepts were first reported in a national religions magazine in December, 1988.

In 1997, Dr. Carlin invited the assistance of Ken Dodson, LPC,  to help him develop the Therapon Certification curriculum and the Belief Therapy model. Mr. Dodson is a Licensed Professional Counselor, former Baptist pastor, was Rapha's first Director of Treatment, is a Certified Reality Therapist, and has been a therapist in the Texas prison system for thirteen years.  Carlin is founder of Prisoners Bible Institute and the author of 10 books, has been in Criminal Justice ministries for 21 years, and is pastor of Shady Grove Baptist church in Crockett, Texas.  "The entire process has been like unfolding a map," Dr. Carlin says.

"If you want to know the truth," Carlin says, "Belief Therapy was born out of the darkness of the people I have tried to help.  The only thing that ever helped me process my own problematic thinking, as well as the darkened emotions of other hurting people, is what we are teaching in the Therapon Certification program called "Belief Therapy."  The basic concepts of the working model were first developed by psychologist Albert Ellis as Rational Emotive Therapy.  Other elements of the model were unfolded in the best seller, Search for Significance, by Robert McGee.  Dodson's presentation of his version of the two at a Recovery Conference in Carlin's church turned the lights on for him.  TheoPhostic Counseling, developed by Dr. Ed M. Smith, presented the strongest evidence that the name Belief Therapy was an accurate description of what Carlin was trying to say.  Dr. Neil Anderson's writings have also influenced Carlin's thinking.  Christian psychologists Dr. William Backus and Dr. Chris  Thurman have powerfully influenced Dr. Carlin's thinking.

To Carlin, the elements of a sound Christian counseling model were present, but something was missing.  "When the Lord awakened me at 3:00 o'clock one morning with the name, Belief Therapy," he says, "it suddenly all came together as a model.  It was the name that was missing."

When Dr. Carlin was asked by psychologists what Therapon's counseling model was, he would simply answer, "People do what they do because they believe what they believe."

That has since changed.  Speaking to a group of Christian chemical dependency counselors, Dr. Paul Carlin recently said, "For the first time in the history of this discipline, as far as we have been able to ascertain, Biblical counselors now have a name they may attach to faith-based treatment and recovery - - Belief Therapy.  And those who apply our life-changing Biblical model in their counseling are Belief Therapists."

With the passage of the Texas House Bill 2481, followed by the Senate and House Faith-Based Concurrent Resolution 44, both preceded by Governor Bush's emphasis on the value of faith-based programs, and the urging of his Task Force for faith-based program providers to "form, on a private, associational basis, a peer self-study and accrediting process to identify best practices and performance standards, support training and technical initiatives," in November of 1997, wheels were put in motion to form The Therapon Institute.  The opportunity was the results of God working in government through a Christian Governor.

"The essence of what is going on in Texas with faith-based programs and The Therapon Institute is a miracle born out of Governor George Bush's leadership to reinforce the value of faith-based community service groups," Carlin says.  "The first time I heard Governor Bush say he wanted to close the gap between the church and the state, I knew God was at work in government through our Governor."

From the discovery of the name, Therapon, to the development of the curriculum, to the Belief Therapy model designation, the move has been of God.  For example, the word "therapon" is the noun form of the Greek verb "therapeuo."  We derive our English word "therapy" from "therapeuo."  It is translated "cure" and "heal" several times in the Gospels. Therapon is translated "servant" in Hebrews 3:5.  The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews called Moses a therapon in the house of God, implying that Moses occupied a more confidential position, offered a free service, and possessed a higher dignity than a dulos (bond servant).  Therapon is an exceptional and honorable title.

Helping hurting and healing people to recover from life-controlling problems using Belief Therapy is also an exceptional and honorable ministry.  When Dr. Paul Carlin was seeking a descriptive term that would best express teaching Belief Therapy as a faith-based therapeutic treatment model, the word therapon appeared to be the most accurate.  A Biblical counselor does not heal, but rather assists in healing.  Ironically, that is exactly what a Therapon does.  God does the healing, but He uses skilled, trained, compassionate Therapons to assist in the process.

The Belief Therapy model begins with the hypothesis that man is not a human being having a spiritual experience, but a spiritual being having a human experience.  Belief Therapy views life-controlling problems as having theological roots, that the Bible is not only inerrant but sufficient, that man's most serious problem is that of identity or Positional Identity Disorder (PID), and that by the time people are six years old they have been taught enough lies and developed enough strongholds in their minds to cause them problems for the rest of their lives. 

Dr. Carlin often asks a Therapon class, "Have you ever thought that what you believe can destroy you?  A lie is a powerful as the truth if you believe it."

Dr. Carlin has built into the Therapon curriculum elements unique to Belief Therapy like Positional Cognition, Positional Identity Disorder, and Transitional Analysis.

Belief Therapy is totally an act of God.  Belief Therapy will not work unless God releases His liberating truth into the client.  "It is not our skills or abilities that heal, but God's sovereign act of revealing the lies in a personal belief system and replacing them with the truth," Carlin says.

The Therapon's ministry interest is directed toward habilitation, not rehabilitation.  Dr. Dean Ornish expresses The Therapon Institute's holistic approach to healing when he says, "We can use our pain -- emotional and physical -- as a catalyst to being healed, not just cured.  To me, "cure" means only getting back to the way we were before we became diseased.  "Healing" is when we use our pain or illness as a catalyst to begin transforming our lives -- healing our inner pain and our relationships, our hearts and our souls."

The Therapon Institute's mission is to help elevate the dignity of Biblical counseling by providing quality education that will enable the professional and Christian paraprofessional counselors with creditable certification.  TI has adopted the highest Ethical Standards in the industry.  TI's graduates are not psychologists or psychiatrists, but Belief Therapists.

In the first seven years of operation TI has graduated thousands of Certified Belief Therapists.  Among them have been Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors, prison/jail chaplains, pastors, Licensed Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Master and Doctoral Degree level counselors, Christian medical doctors and nurses, parole/probation officers, college professors, school administrators, youth workers, Clinical Psychologists, and criminal justice ministry volunteers. 

The Therapon Institute has enjoyed a distinguished student body.  In doing so, TI has discovered that Christians involved in this discipline are ready for a Christian counseling model with professional level training, quality instructors, peer identity and accountability.

When Dr. Carlin was asked where he saw Therapon in the future, he said, "All of our material is copyrighted and Trade-Marked to preserve the integrity of what God has entrusted to us .  I would like to see some national Certification schools conducted in 1999.  Ken and I are completing a book titled, 'Processing Change Through Belief Therapy.'"  He said he fully expected the work to be welcomed by Christian Counselors nationwide.

Therapon has already added a State Representative Licensing process. A State Therapon License gives the Licensee the rights to all Therapon and Belief Therapy and Certification authority. "The states of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi," Carlin says, "are already gone." Therapon looks forward to training Licensees in other states to do what the mother school does in Texas.

Why the name Therapon?

About Therapon

Our Doctrinal Statement

  1. 1.In one God, creator and sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally co-existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

  2. 2.The Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are inspired, inerrant and the fully sufficient Word of God, the complete revelation of His will for salvation of human beings, and the final authority for all matters.

  3. 3.That human nature derives from two historical persons, male and female, created in the image and likeness of God. They were created perfect, but they sinned, plunging themselves and all human beings into sin, suffering and death. That man is a sinner by nature, by choice and by practice.

  4. 4.That the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ and His bodily resurrection provides the only ground for justification, forgiveness and salvation for all who believe, and only those who trust in Him alone are born of the Holy Spirit, are members of the Body of Christ, and will spend eternity with Christ

  5. 5.That the Holy Spirit distributes spiritual gifts to individuals within the Body of Christ as He so chooses and that those gifts are operational today.

  6. 6.That the ministry of Christian counseling is not limited to the therapeutic elite, but may be performed by Holy Spirit-gifted people within the body of Christ for other members of the body of Christ.

Certification & Accreditation

1.  History

The Therapon Institute is a Texas chartered non-profit organization and a 501(c)(3) IRS non-profit organization.

2.  Compliance

The Therapon Institute's request for exemption under Section 132.002 (a)(2) of the Texas Education Code, has been granted by the Texas Work Force Commission.  TI was the first in Texas to request and receive this unique faith-based counselor training exemption.  Any entity established in Texas structured to offer professional training in any discipline is required by law to seek State licensing or qualify for exemption under the law. The Therapon Institute is in compliance with that law, The Workforce's exemption does not constitute approval, accreditation, or licensure under Texas law.

  1. 3. Registration

TI's "His Steps" treatment and/or recovery program does qualify under the law as being "exclusively religious in nature and offers only non-medical treatment and recovery methods such as prayer, moral guidance, spiritual counseling, and scriptural studies." The treatment and recovery services offered by Therapon Counselors and the His Steps Program are exclusively religious in nature and are not subject to licensure or regulation by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Certified Therapon Counselors will be able to establish their counseling ministry and use the term "Therapon Counseling Center" in the event the counselor does not  independently qualify for exemption under the new law.

  1. 4. Experience

The TI Board of Governors and staff include people with graduate degrees in theology, Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Christian psychologists, pastors, and experience-based, recovering addicts.

  1. 5. Affiliation

TI leadership holds to the standards of , and has active memberships in The American Society of Christian Therapists (www.asct.net).We are also affiliated with Barnabus Christian Counseling Network (www.barnabus.com), The Ministry Church (www.hissteps.org), and Koinonia Bible College (www.kbc.org).

  1. 6. Continuum

TI requires all Therapon counselors to complete at least 10 hours of continuing education units each year. TI offers many CEU classes during the year.