Psychology, Theology in Chrisitian Counseling

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Verneen Madry
Integration of Psychology and Theology
COUN 506
Wayne Wilson
Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality In Christian Counseling Mark R. McMinn

The book begins with at brief selection as it addresses the importance of the counselor utilizing the Christian faith in counseling in addition to focusing on the relationship between psychology and theology. It addresses the issues and concerns that religion may bring into counseling sessions and how the counselor should address and handle these challenges. McMinn addresses the facts that spiritual development must take place with the client as well as the counselor. The counselor must personally address the regulation of prayer, scripture, sin, confession, forgiveness, and redemption these formulations are a necessity for smooth sessions for the client and counselor. The objective of the sessions is to create a healthy sense of self for the client. Once this objective is achieved, the client can move from being broken, and begin a self-motivated and fulfilling relationship with God and others. In the section, Toward Psychological and Spiritual Health, McMinn focuses his main position to the varied individuality of an individual’s life. He proposes that Christian counseling strengthens three areas of a person’s life: sense of self, awareness of human need, limitations, and confiding interpersonal relationships with God and others. The book appears to be focused on the many important attributes of a Christian’s life i.e. prayer, scripture, sin, confession, forgiveness, and redemption all which should be the foundational make-up of the Christian counselor’s method of treating client’s. Dr. McMinn (1996) believes prayer should be used in and outside of the counseling session, however; with caution. According to McMinn (1996) Christian counselors should depend upon Scripture for truth by determining how to use it appropriately. The use of scripture should be utilized as a therapeutic intervention in the counseling setting. In addition, it would solely depend upon the client’s emotional, mental and spiritual health and how it is perceived.

The chapters are formatted in a very straightforward layout. The chapters have sections to address the challenges counselors face, psychological and spiritual health focus points, and also expected results by each foundational element of counseling – psychological, theological, and spiritual. McMinn further discusses the topics of sin, redemption and forgiveness. From the text, it is apparent that the discussion of sin must be handled with care at all times. This subject should be approached with caution and only be discussed if there is a healthy client counselor relationship. Forgiveness is one of the other attributes discussed. Forgiveness has the ability to lead an individual to a healthy and fulfilling life with others and self. It can produce spiritual, mental and emotional reprieve for a client. Redemption is the sole objective for counseling and the counselor must first recognize his redemption before he is urged to be a vessel to redeem someone else. (Ephesians 1:7-8) In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (NIV) Christ’s redemption has freed us from guilt, being “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). To be redeemed we first have to be lost, separated, and captive, be in slavery, and so on. In the case of the Christian redemption definition, we are separated from God and need redemption to be able to be reconcile back to God.

This book is a very good outline of spiritual and psychological health and functioning. It gives a very detailed outline of what a Christian counselor should be. Having had some counseling sessions with my pastor in regards...
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