Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling Sondra Rule Liberty University Summary The author of this book Mark McMinn explains how psychology, theology, and spirituality can all be integrated into Christian counseling. He discusses the difference between the three overlapping principles. He wrote this book especially for Christian counselors, pastors, as well as students so that they may clearly understand the meaning of the three principles, allowing them to apply it to everyday problems.
The main question this book poses to answer is, How does a Christian counselor integrate their faith into a counseling session in a way that can be beneficial to their clients. He discusses the problems that counselors and clients face in a counseling session and ways to improve them. Some of the ways he mentioned to improve counseling sessions were prayer, scripture, the effects of sin confession, forgiveness, and redemption. This book main purpose is to assist the counselor in integrating the three categories. He feels that if a counselor can master this, then they will be able to give their clients the very best services.
The most important thing to realize is that this process will not be easy for the counselor or the client but, if done right it can be very rewarding for them both. The author starts the book by describing some of the challenges that Christian counselors encounter while trying to integrate psychology and spirituality. He explains how spirituality is different from psychology and theology by breaking it down into a simple statement, “We can become more or less competent in the spiritual disciplines, training ourselves to experience God more fully, but we can never be spiritually competent. (McMinn 2011, p. 11). He goes on to describe psychology, theology, and spirituality, how they are similar and different. His explanations are put in a way that is easy to understand, he also gives examples of how they can be applied to real life situations. He talks about the importance of scripture and how it can be very beneficial in a counseling session. However he does stress that clients can only be truly changed by scripture if they can carry it on outside their sessions, and make it apart of real life. Even hough it can be helpful to some it is not something that can be used with every client, it is up to the therapist to know what is best for every client. He also talks about the power of prayer. He discusses the different types of prayers and also the different situations in which each prayer is to be used. He also lets us know that prayer may not be for every client so it may not be the right technique to use in some those therapy sessions. McMinn (2011), goes on to discuss sin and the importance of looking at in with a theological perspective.
If the counselor is able to get the client to really understand their sin, they can then get to a point of forgiveness. The therapist can help the client get in the best position possible to accomplish forgiveness, but it is up to the client to actually forgive themselves for their sins. The author also discusses the subject of redemption and how it can be established in different therapy models; such as object relations, cognitive, and Adlerian. This was a interesting and informative book.
This book was wrote to help Christians integrate spirituality into a counseling session, and to let counselors know that they can’t just act one way in the office, they have to carry their spirituality outside their sessions. It is just as important for the client to know that the counselor is behaving the same way outside the office as they do when they are around. He also discussed how some counselors would like to help clients through the use of Christ, but they don’t know how. The author shows how to help clients by using examples of everyday life situations.
This book is a good way to help Christians add to their knowledge about Christ because their are times when we become stagnant in our growth with Christ. He includes practices for every Christian, the client, as well as the patients and the benefits for each one. McMinn 2011, lets us know that spirituality and psychology have to be used together in order for us to have a accurate sense of self, accurate awareness of need, and healing relationships. Concrete Responses After reading this book , I mostly thought about how I first integrated my faith with my personal relationships.
I have been Christian for a couple of years now, but every person I get close to or friend I have are not all Christian. Therefore, I had to learn how to not let their habits influence me with what I do and say. I have friends that smoke, get drunk, curse, and many other things that I find not to be Christian behavior. These were once things that I also had taken part in, so continuing our friendship and letting go of bad habits was a struggle for me. Integrating my new life with my old life was changeling because I was always told that your are the company that you keep.
I had to make sure I didn’t get myself into situations that could hurt me in the long run. I was set on continuing the friendship I had and remaining a Christian as well. I can remember the first time my faith was tested. It was around five months after I changed my life around. I was invited to go out to the movies and out to eat with a big group of friends. Being that it was only a dinner and a movie, I assumed it would be okay. The night started off really well, we went to see a really great movie and we all were having a good time.
Following the movie, we went out o eat, everyone ordered alcohol to drink including myself. I do drink occasionally but it is never something heavy and never more than one small glass. After ordering our drinks and food, I began to feel pressured by them because they were getting drunk and they wanted me to get drunk as well. I told them that I am not the same person I use to be, I will not let the devil control my life. After eating they wanted to take the party to the next level and start smoking. When I realized what was about to happen, I decided to remove myself from the equation before something happens I will regret.
That experience taught me that I can still have my friends but we can’t hangout as much as we use too. It may be challenging but integrating my faith with my personal life can be done just as well as psychology, theology, and spirituality can be integrated into counseling. Reflection This was a very well written book. It answers the question “How can a counselor integrate psychology, theology, and spirituality into their counseling sessions. The author discusses the importance of integrating spirituality into counseling, and steps to take in order to ensure its success.
The author also stressed the value of prayer in and out a counseling session and how to introduce it as a part of the session to the client. This book brings up questions such as, How can psychology, theology, and spirituality truly be integrated into counseling sessions with non Christian counselors and Christian clients. If spirituality is what is best for the client, how does a non Christian counselor help them without recommending a more qualified counselor. there is also the question of not confronting the sin.
It would always be more helpful for a sin to be confronted so that the client knows that what they are doing is wrong and they should then be counseled in moving on from this sin and taking the necessary steps to ensure that sin is excluded from their lives. Others than that, this book was a very positive book. Learning how to help others with prayer, scriptures, psychology, theology is very rewarding. Knowing the steps to take in order to ensure as successful counseling session is also something that this book discussed, which is very helpful for therapist. Action
After reading this book, and learning how to better integrate psychology, theology, and spirituality into counseling; it has been easier to help those in need such as a friend, family member, or client. NO when a person is in need of guidance or assistance with a problem, their will be a set of tools set aside that ensures they are helped in the best way possible. Encouraging the client to include spirituality into their counseling session can be tough at times, especially if they are not Christian but by using the tools taught in this book, it can be achieved.
Changes concerning counseling and helping those in need of guidance has become a lot better. Before this book, integrating Christianity into counseling was a challenge. However through gaining a better understanding of psychology, theology, and spirituality, it was made clearer how to integrate the three into a counseling session that could be beneficial to every client if used correctly. This book shows how important it is to have a spiritual aspect in a counseling session.
How it can be so helpful in helping a client if this is what they want. And how it can totally change a person’s life. Having a good relationship with God is all we need in order to make it day to day. Whatever problems we have can be brought to Jesus because he is the healer o all problems. Having a good counselor who can introduce or help grow you knowledge concerning Jesus is a good step in the right direction. Reference McMinn, M. R. (2011). Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling. Tyndale house Publishers.