4-MAT Review: Psychology, Theology and Spirituality in Christian Counseling
McMinn, M. (1996). Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. ISBN: 0-8423-5252-X).
The Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling is the thought provoking book of McMinn which was published in 1996 and includes ample guidance and inspiration for the practitioners of Christian counseling. This book reveals that how the three perspectives of psychology, spirituality and theology can be amalgamated to facilitate individuals in identifying definite aspects of their lives. The book has mainly focused on two essential aspects of field of Christian counseling that are the counselor’s job and the counselor’s life. McMinn(1996) has provided an insight into the practices that can help a counselor promote Christianity by infusing spirituality in counseling interventions. He states that it is the main objective of a Christian counselor to sustain spiritual and mental strength to enable the client look to God for direction (McMinn, 1996).
McMinn(1996) truly states that praying extensively from God enriches a person’s life with significant purpose, elevated satisfaction and a feeling of well-being. The book also advices the counselors to maintain credulous intimacy with the client prior to the integration of spirituality in the counseling session. Talking about the Psychological and Spiritual Health, McMinn(1996) emphasizes that Christian counseling reinforces mainly three aspects of an individuals’ life that are sense of self, consciousness about human requirements and precincts and most of all a strengthened affiliation with God.
The book has appropriate sections about the various challenges faced by the counselor,
focal points for strengthening the clients spiritually and psychologically and the potential outcomes of every basic constituent of counseling: psychological, theological, and spiritual.
A substantial portion of book has been dedicated to the most essential components of a Christian’s life :worship, forgiveness, transgression and redemption. Emphasizing the significance of prayer, McMinn(1996) coined the notion that a counselor must enrich himself with the capability to use prayer at appropriate time which is highly conditioned with the vigorous prayer life of counselor himself.
In chapter four of the book, McMinn (1996) revealed the importance and way of incorporating scripture in counseling session by checking the compatibility with spiritual, poignant and psychological state of the client. Talking about the sin in chapter 5, McMinn (1996) entails that counselor must treat the sinful attributes of client with empathic approach to trigger the client’s healing. According to McMinn, confession enables an individual to identify his sin and looking forward to God for the actual transformation of his life. So the counselor should emphasize confession profoundly to pace the ground for forgiveness (McMinn, 1996). In the last, author projects redemption as the main focus of counseling so a counselor should ideally depict his own redemption before redeeming someone else.
The book provides a convincing operational framework with the aid of life illustrations and succinct scenarios of counseling to the counselors to assist and support clients in moving towards a better and healed life at a swift note. The counselor is required to maintain equilibrium between the theological guidance and psychological training which can be achieved by sound reliance on God for direction and strength(McMinn, 1996). The book has thoroughly revealed “an opportunity for Christian truth to be incarnated in the therapy relationship" (p. 240).
The book reminds me of the terrible days of my life when I was...