Dr. Robi Sonderegger returns this weekend for three power-packed seminars that help the individual understand and overcome errant thinking, and pursue successful relationships and victorious living. City News catches up with him.
By Theresa Tan
Dr. Robi, the field of psychology is challenging. You’re working with clients through their problems all day. How do you go home and recharge?
Dr. Robi: My number one career profile is not “doctor”. It is “husband to my wife, father to my children.” I don’t see it as something I do and recover from. At home, I spend time laughing with my wife, engaging with my children.
Your wife, Noeleen, is also a clinical psychologist. What is it like, two psychologists being married?
The good news is, we can’t get away with anything. If something comes up, we’ll call it, and we’ll resolve it. The bad news is, she knows all my tricks. I can’t get away with them. We don’t do psychology at home. When we’re home, we’re normal people.
You have four children, aged 1 through 8, three boys and a girl. What kind of a dad are you?
I’m a “normal” dad but by no means a perfect father. The Bible says to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”. I recognize that I will probably make mistakes as a father, but I also recognize that my children are not my mistakes. You need to create the right conditions for parenting.
What is missing in the world of psychology?
There should be more good quality, humble, dynamic, fully qualified clinical psychologists with a Biblical worldview that are baggage-free. If I am having marriage problems. I won’t see the guy who’s had five marriages fail.
Why are there so few Christian psychologists?
It could be the result of past dogma. In church, traditionally, it has been viewed that psychology is of the devil. It is associated with Sigmund Freud, who was seen as anti-God. So the history of psychology might have been tarnished. But really, the origins of psychology began in church. Pastors and priests saw how life issues affected human mind, human emotions, human behavior, and they began to see how they could help these people.
Having heard you speak has inspired people in our congregation. What would a Christian need to do to become a psychologist?
Become a clinical psychologist, not a counseling psychologist or a generalist. If you hold the clinical psychology key, you open all the doors. The very least you’ll need is a Masters degree—doesn’t matter which university you go to. You do need the qualifications to confound the wise with wisdom. We need to restore commitment to go the distance. We need an army of Christian clinical psychologists.
Dr. Robi Sonderegger will speak at three seminars this weekend:
Friday 6 July, 8pm: “93% Stress-Free Parenting”
Saturday 7 July, 5pm: “Reconciling Your Past To Get On With Your Future”
Sunday 8 July, 10am: “Work-Life Balance”
There is an elective, “Relationship Rescue” on Saturday at 3-4pm.
All seminars will be held at Singapore Expo, Hall 1.