Resources for a Christian worldview

Harry Van Belle pages

Harry Van Belle pages

Harry Van Belle is a Christian psychologist and psychotherapist.  He is married with three children and three grandchildren. From 1971 - 1977 he was the supervisor of the Psychology Department in the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital in Brockville, Ontario, Canada. From 1977 -1982 he was the first Director-Therapist of the Cascade Christian Counseling Centre in Surrey, BC, Canada, a therapy centre which he founded.

From 1982 - 1992 he taught psychology at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, Canada and from 1992 - 2000 he taught psychology at The Kings University College.

He has been a practicing therapist, a workshop leader and a popular lecturer for more than 35 years.

In 2000 he took early retirement to spend more time traveling, writing and practicing therapy. As his website shows, he has written extensively about topics related to psychology, family life, psychological development and psychotherapy as well as on topics dealing with the relation between religion and psychology.

An interview with Harry can be found here.

Coram Deo: Living Life in the Presence of God in a Secular Age
Edmonton, AB: Legacy Press, 2019 ISBN-10:1077705689
Available directly from the author at harryvanbelle at hotmail.com
US $14.95, CAD $19.50, or by mail from:

Legacy Press 10517 69 Street Edmonton AB T6A 2S7 Canada

It is also available through amazon in paperback and in kindle format

Chapter one: Introduction
Chapter two: A Brief History of God 
Chapter three: Coram Deo: Living Life in the Presence of God 
Chapter four: Reading the Bible with Coram Deo in Mind 
Chapter five: The Antithesis and the Notwithstanding Clause of Grace
Chapter six: A Christian View of Reality 
Chapter seven: A Christian View of Spirituality 
Chapter eight: Structure and Direction: recounting the Presence of God in the Therapeutic Relation 
Chapter nine: Office Discovery and Education 
Chapter ten: Reflecting on the Seasons of Life 
Chapter eleven: Closing Comments 

Another recent work is  Explorations in the History of Psychology: Persisting Themata and Changing Paradigms (Dordt College Press, 2013): 

In it he traces the history of psychology from its roots in Greek philosophy and includes a description of the later influence of the Hebraic-Christian mindset on that history. Subsequently, he follows the journey of psychology through the Middle Ages and the scientific revolution of the sixteenth century. Next, he describes the birth and trajectory of psychology proper during the nineteenth century and closes with a description of a number of the more contemporary schools of psychological thought. The underlying thesis of the text is that the history of psychology gives evidence of both continuity and discontinuity in interaction with one another. Thus, to do justice to the actual history of psychology one must take note of both persisting themata and changing paradigms.


Articles 1009, 1011, 1038 and 1054, below, draw upon a Dooyeweerdian perspective

Articles 1022, 1008 and 1001, below, draw upon Vollenhovenian insights.

1. Psychotherapy: Person-Centered Therapy

This series of publications offers an in-depth look at Person-centered Therapy. It contains an exposition of the views of its founder, Carl R. Rogers, as well as the theoretical and historical background of the movement. This section is of interest to psychotherapists, counsellors, historians of psychology and philosophers.

1001 Basic Intent and Therapeutic Approach of Carl R. Rogers, (book), 1980
1002 Client Centred Therapy, 1985
1003 Humanistic Psychology, 1985
1004 Rogers, Carl Ransom, 1985
1005 The Self Theory of Carl R. Rogers, 1985
1006 Rogers' Later Move Toward Mysticism: Implications for Person Centred Therapy, 1990
1007 Philosophical Roots of Person-Centred Therapy in the History of Western Thought, 2005

2. Psychology: history and theory

This section deals with a variety of topics in psychology. It contains a complete manuscript for a text on the history of psychology. It offers a number of articles on perspective issues in psychology as well as thoughts on the relation between psychology and (a specifically Christian) worldview. Lastly, this section contains several articles on the psychology of emotion. These articles are of interest to teachers of psychology in general and more specifically to historians of psychology and theoretical psychologists. 

1009 The Meaning of Psychical, 1985
1010 Some Things Every Christian Psychologist Should Think About (Maybe), 1986
1011 Paradigms in Psychology: Agency and Patience, 1994
1012 The Place of Feeling in Our Lives, undated
1013 Love and Aggression, 1975
1014 On Being a Christian Academic Psychologist, 1997
1015 Depression, 1996
1016 How can I get on well with others?, 1997

3. Trauma Studies

These articles provide an outline of the history and theory of psycho-traumatology from its earliest formulation by Pierre Janet to its present formulation as a research program in the DSM category of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. In addition it describes the specific traumatic effects that occur in Childhood Sexual Abuse and focuses on the impact of “false memories” in the treatment of CSA. This section is of special interest to therapists working to heal trauma victims.

1017 Delayed Memories of Childhood Sexual Abuse: Recovered or Fabricated in Therapy?, 1997
1018 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Its History, Theory and Treatment, 2005

4. Christian Counselling: theory and practice

Most of the articles in this section deal with issues that arise when one attempts to relate religion and psychology, or specifically Christianity and counselling. Several of these articles offer practical advice on how to conduct any type of counselling. These articles are of interest to Christian psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors, and more generally all Christians working in the helping profession. Social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, childcare workers, pastors and others will likely find these articles interesting. 

1019 The Place of Compassion in the Life of a Christian, 1986
1020 You Don't Have to Go it Alone (The Christian and Social Services), 1990
1021 Christian Counselling Rooted in a Christian Worldview, undated
1022 Structure and Direction, Recounting the Presence of God in the Therapeutic Relations, 1998
1023 Why I am Against Psychology, and Especially Against Psychotherapy, 1997
1024 A Testimony by the Father of an Abused Child, 1995
1025 Christian Counselling; Angels Work Below, 1994
1026 Active Listening, 1992
1027 Leading the Church Toward Unity in Christ, 1999
1028 In Nouthetic Counseling Really Christian? 2005
1029 What's Right About Secular Counselling and Wrong About Christian Counselling? 1997

5. The Christian Life: family and education

 These articles focus on the Christian family and more generally on the place of children in an adult world. They offer suggestions and reflections based on the author’s lifetime experience on how to improve family life. Within this context these articles focus on the adult-child relation or on how to relate to, how to nurture, how to discipline and how to educate children. These articles were written for adults in general, but parents, teachers and child care and youth workers will likely find them especially helpful.

1030 Two Shall Become One: Reflections on Dating, Courtship and Marriage, (book), 1991
1031 Family Life in the Twenty-First Century, 1995
1032 Ways to Celebrate Family Life in the Twenty-First Century, 1995
1033 Respecting the Child as Child, undated
1034 Understanding the Young Child, undated
1035 Candy Cane: A Christian Reflection on Discipline, 1979
1037 Spirituality in the Bible: A phenomenology of Spirituality and Spiritual Maturity, 1982
1038 Relational Anthropolgy and Education, 1985
1039 Grieving Workshop

6. Development and Ageing

This section deals with how human beings change as they proceed through the stages of life. Whereas the previous section dealt with child development these articles focus more on adult development. They argue specifically that life normally is dynamic rather than static, a moving picture rather than a photograph. In addition, several articles discuss issues that arise as one moves into the last phase of ones life. This material should be of interest to all adults who reflect on their journey through life and especially to those people who take care of adults and seniors.


1040 The Development of Lived Religion, 1992
1041 Reflecting on the Seasons of Life, 1992
1042 The Development of Personality During the Life Course, undated
1043 Walking in the Way Through the Seasons of Life, undated
1044 The Importance of Remaining Active in the Later Years, 1997
1045 The Importance of Remaining Active in the Later Years, 1997

7. Ethnic Studies

This section contains a manuscript and a number of articles that deal with the history of Post-World War II Reformed Dutch immigrants to Canada. These articles describe the history of this ethnic-religious group in the Netherlands prior to immigration and their journey of continuity and change in Canada after they immigrated. These writings are based on the author’s extensive research in immigration. They conclude that immigration has a conservative effect. Relative to those of their religion who remained in the Netherlands, these Dutch immigrants have changed very little over the past half century. This section is of interest to all students of ethnic change and continuity.

1047 The Impact of W.W.II on the Reformed Dutch in the Netherlands and Canada: A Comparison 1991 [pdf]
1048 The History of the Reformed Dutch in Edmonton, 1994
1049 Visions and Revisions: A Brief History of Neo-Calvinism in The Netherlands and Canada, 1997
1051 Not Alone: The History of the Reformed Dutch in Canada (1950-1990) (book), 1993

8. Communication Theory

This section relates the author’s attempt to formulate the theory of communication that in his view forms the background for communication in all kinds of inter-human relations. Teachers of communication studies, psychologists, psychotherapists, counsellors, human resource professionals, people in the helping professions and others should find this material interesting. 

1054 Reflections on A Christian View of Human Communication, 1991
1055 Toward a Model of Communcation, 1991

9. Bible Meditations

Each of these meditations relates a particular bible passage with the sole aim of making this passage more alive to the reader. Based on sermons by the author these meditations are meant as a source of inspiration to bible-believing Christians.

1056 A Song for Prairie Dwellers and Mountain Climbers, Psalm 121
1057 Seeing Jesus, Luke 19: 1-10
1058 Two Questions, Two Answers, Matthew 25: 31-46
1059 Ode to God, Psalm 139
1060 God Hurts, God Hates, God Heals, Isaiah 53, Matthew 18: 1-7,10
1061 Father and Son, Four Times, Gen. 22: 1-19, 2 Sam, Mark 15: 21-37, Luke 15
1062 Bridge Over Troubled Water, Psalm 23
1063 The Burden of Riches, Luke 16: 19-31
1064 The Laughter of God and the Work of Our Hands, Psalm 2

1065 Heaven is the World Upside Down

1066 Biblical critique of Secularism

10. Writings of the Later Years 2016

Some of you may have wondered what I have been doing over the past five years.

I have listed the titles of the unpublished pieces I have written below together with a brief description of their content.  Your interest in reading and responding to what I have written will be most welcome.  You can contact me at harryvanbelle @ hotmail.com 

  1. 1067. The Life of Soul

This article explores what happens when we in the West gain the whole world but lose our soul. Two historically grown sources of inspiration govern the way we in the developed world frame our existence today.  They are “reason” and “soul”.  In this article I attempt to explain what ails us today by arguing that the life of reason has hijacked our life of soul.

  1. 1068. Naïve Experience and a Receptive Attitude to Life

This article explores the implications of Dooyeweerd’s notion of “naïve experience”.  What is the effect of choosing to experience life naively on the way we live our lives?  I suggest that its essential result is that we approach our existence with a receptive attitude.  Following Mekkes this means that the basic choice in life is whether or not to listen.

  1. 1069. Listening to Nothing

The result of this basic choice is that we learn to listen to nothing.  When we do that the world opens up to us and we hear and see things we did not notice before.  As Psalm 19 teaches us, it also makes us more aware of the presence of God in our lives.

  1. 1070. Why I am a Christian

I am keenly aware that not everyone chooses to be a Christian.  Some even consider it a bad choice. This leaves me with the task of explaining why I have made that choice and of defending it as legitimate.  

  1. 1071. Religion, Fundamentalism and ISIS

The reason why ISIS is so attractive to some Canadian young people is that it is a form of (Islamic) fundamentalism, which offers an easy but unrealistic solution to their identity formation problems.