Integration Course

  Downloads:  MS Word

Integrated Christian Counseling

Toxic Beliefs Parents Teach Children
Dr. Brian Campbell 


I've been teaching you that my model of the integration of psychology and theology focuses on the concept of beliefs. Remember, not everything that you believe is necessarily true.  For example, you may have been taught some very toxic or harmful beliefs by your parents or caretakers. These toxic beliefs are often crucial to understanding psychopathology. That is, irrational beliefs (or lies) taught by parents can be at the core of disorders such as anxiety, depression, etc.

/       \
           Psychology    Theology            

\   /


Over the course of my career as a Christian counselor, I have developed a form entitled “Parental Patterns” that looks at the toxic beliefs that parents teach children.  These beliefs can be extremely harmful and produce a lifetime of mental health problems.  Please download the form and feel free to utilize it in your own Christian Counseling work. 


Interestingly, you may notice on the form that there are some messages that appear to be “good” and “healthy.”  For example, the following item included in form, “Made me feel special or unique,” would appear to be a positive and healthy message that parents would teach their children.  However, this same message can form part of the belief system of individual with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).  In future communications, I will demonstrate the irrational beliefs underlying NPD as well as other personality disorders.


As you learn and grow as a Christian counselor, you will undoubtedly want to add items to this form.  Keep looking for underlying irrational/toxic beliefs that parents teach children.  I utilize the "Parental Patterns" checklist with all adult clients that I treat as part of the assessment process.



Dr. Campbell







By Dr. Brian Campbell, Copyright, 2013




Instructions:  Parents, caretakers, or close relatives can have a significant influence on children.   

Please read the items listed below and mark all that apply by placing the appropriate letter or letters in the space provided corresponding to the key given below.  If the item does not apply, please just leave it blank.


M=Mother     F=Father     B=Both


If someone other than your biological mother or father served as your caretaker or influenced you greatly, please use the following letters:


 SM=Step-mother   SF=Step-father   BR=Brother   S=Sister   A=Aunt     U=Uncle




_____ Told me I was bad or worthless.

_____ Made me feel that I wasn’t good enough.

_____ My parents never really accepted me.

_____ Made me feel that I didn’t belong in the family.

_____ Made me feel unwanted.

_____ Were never around very much when I was young.

_____ Were unreliable.

_____ Could not be trusted.

_____ Were too preoccupied with their own lives to pay much attention to me.

_____ Called me insulting names.

_____ Constantly criticized me.

_____ Beat me with belts, brushes, or other objects.

_____ Neglected me physically.

_____ Abused me physically.

_____ Neglected me emotionally.

_____ Got drunk or used drugs.

_____ Frightened me a lot.

_____ Made me feel ashamed of them.

_____ Made me feel ashamed of myself.

_____ Made fun of me or laughed at me in a cruel way.

_____ Were severely depressed or unavailable because of emotional, mental, or physical illness.

_____ Behavior was odd, unusual, or bizarre.

_____ Made me feel that I had to take care of them because of their problems.

_____ Tried to make me think they were perfect.

_____ Pressured me and expected too much of me.

_____ Rarely hugged or kissed me.

_____ Rarely told me they loved me.

_____ Blamed me for their problems.

_____ Were extremely negative and critical.

_____ Fought a lot.

_____ Sexually molested me.

_____ Were extremely controlling.

_____ Used money to control me.

_____ Used guilt to control me.

_____ Used threats to control me.

_____ Seemed to like my brother/sister better than me.

_____ Told me they wished I’d never been born.

_____ Told me I’d never make anything of myself.

_____ Were inconsistent when disciplining me.

_____ Lied a lot to me and others.

_____ Frequently broke the law.

_____ Cheated or took advantage of others.

_____ Were overly concerned about grades.

_____ Picked on me when I was young.

_____ Told me I was dumb or stupid.

_____ Did not provide a safe home for me.

_____ Were extremely conservative and legalistic.

_____ Were overprotective.

_____ Taught me that the world is a scary place.

_____ Often fought about money.

_____ Gave me the feeling that they didn’t have enough money to live on.

_____ Taught me not to trust anyone.

_____ Taught me to expect that the worst will happen.

_____ Did not like me being around them.

_____ Rarely said they were sorry.

_____ Rarely admitted mistakes.

_____ Made me keep family secrets.

_____ Tried to pretend everything was fine when it wasn’t.

_____ Isolated me and kept me away from other children.

_____ Were constantly comparing me to my brothers or sisters.

_____ Never laughed much.

_____ Died when I was young.

_____ Divorced when I was a child.

_____ Abandoned me when I was young.

_____ Were very concerned about how I looked.

_____ Couldn’t stand it if I disagreed with them.

_____ Spoiled me.

_____ Constantly bragged about me to others.

_____ Tended to let me do whatever I wanted.

_____ Often “gave in” to my demands.

_____ Worshiped the ground I walked on.

_____ Made me feel “special” or “unique.”

_____ Were very concerned about money and “status.”

_____ Were very concerned about how I looked and how I dressed.

_____ “Put me down” in front of others.

_____ Didn’t allow me to express my feelings.

_____ Tended to be dictators when it came to obedience.

_____ Didn’t care how I felt about things.

_____ Tended to make all of my decisions for me when I was growing up.

_____ Made it necessary for me take care of them when I was young.

_____ Tended to be very negative and pessimistic.

_____ Made me feel helpless to do anything for myself.