4-MAT Review: Psychology, Theology and Spirituality in Christian Counseling
McMinn, Ph.D., Mark R. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (1996)
4 MAT Review: Psychology, Theology and Spirituality in Christian Counseling
Christian counseling is all about integrating psychology, theology and spirituality into counselor and clients lives. Psychology, Theology and Spirituality in Christian Counseling gives insight into how these three perspectives can be used to help individuals identify certain aspects of their lives that might be enhanced when the counselor includes spirituality into their counseling sessions. We also see how important it is for the counselor ...view middle of the document...
If a trusting relationship is not established, the counselor runs the risk of the client pulling away or ending the counseling relationship.
The use of scripture can also play a part in the counseling sessions. McMinn (1996) has indicated that scripture can provide substance for contemplation and theological boundaries to keep the client from slipping into heresy and self worship (p. 107-108). We also see that sin is thought of as the cause of many psychological issues. When looking at sin we look at the internal and external attribution factors that contribute to emotional behavior. The way that we look at things can affect how we respond to certain issues. Therefore, it is important that as counselors we put things in perspective and allow ourselves to be unbiased.
McMinn (1996) also allows us to see how the confession of the client can alleviate some of the clients emotional issues. When a counselor establishes a trusting relationship, with their client, they allow the client to confide in the counselor. This allows the client to relax and open up. Once the client has confessed then it is important to establish forgiveness. McMinn (1996) states that “forgiveness is an act of compassion that comes from one person’s identifying with another” (p. 216). When we allow ourselves to have insight and humility we can release ourselves from our sin and seek redemption. As counselors we can offer the client a feeling of redemption when we use our own psychological, theological and spiritual abilities to enhance the counseling relationship (p. 242). The way a client is treated or responded to can often allow them to transform into healthier individuals.
Overall, McMinn (1996) allows us to see that when we counsel individuals we have the ability to impact them on many different levels. By praying with our clients, introducing scripture into the counseling relationship and establishing good trusting relationships with our client, counselors are able to hear client confessions, help the client establish a relationship with God in order to forgive themselves and others and seek redemption for indiscretions. As counselors our faith is a very important aspect of leading our clients to the Lord. The word of God has enormous healing powers and when clients tap into these wonderful powers they start their journey to better emotional health.
When I moved back home, after my brother passed away, I went through a very emotional time. At one point, I decided to seek counseling. I had never been exposed to Christian counseling and had no idea that the counselor that I was planning on seeing had a Christian based practice. Initially, I shunned the idea of any type of religious interactions. I was mad at God and I was sure that my prayers would not be answered. Afterall, I could pray all I wanted to but prayer wouldn’t bring my brother back. My counselor was patient with me. Occasionally, he would slip scripture into...