Book Review for Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling: By Mark McMinn
The main goal of this book is to act as a guide for the Christian counselor. The book is to help the counselor confronting the client and integrating Christianity to the session. The book helps counselor better assess their own spiritual needs as well as their clients. The book stresses the importance of implementing the bible into the lives of the Christian counselor. The book discusses the different ways to confront sin. Also, McMinn discuss interpersonal personal healing and the importance of receiving forgiveness and redemption from God.
According to McMinn (1996), there are five ways to confront the client: pondering, questioning, silence, direct censure, and not confronting. “Sometimes the best way to confront sin is to remain silent and let the client work out their feelings of guilt and questions of blame on their own” (McMinn, 20011, p. 167). The client may become defensive or shut down if the counselor confronts them for their sins. Sins are between the client and God and it is best to let the client work through them on their own.
“Pondering can help confront the client indirectly and cause them to think more intently about their choices”(McMinn, 2011, p.167). Pondering is a good way for the counselor to find out more from the client and get them to think about the consequences of their sins. “By asking specific questions, counselors are sometimes able to access clients’ values of right and wrong” (McMinn, 2011, p.167). By asking questions the counselor has the freedom to interrogate the client for choices around sin.
“Direct censure should be considered only when there is a high level of trust established in the therapeutic relationship” (McMinn, 2011, p.167). In direct censure the counselor’s values are presented over the clients. This method should be used rarely being that it is so direct and could cause the client to become defensive. The counselor may also choose not confronting as a direction. “Sometimes confronting sin is not the best therapeutic strategy” (McMinn, 2011, p. 170). In this case the counselor would confront the client. This action allows the client to work through their emotions of guilt by themselves.
According to McMinn (2011), confession connects humility and compassion. Counselors often act as Roman Catholic priest accepting confessions. Clients admit that they need to change by confessing to the counselor. Confessing helps the client get back in touch with the human community and work towards healing. Once the problem has been confessed the client can work towards forgiveness (2011).
According to McMinn (2011), forgiveness plays a big part in the clients healing process and their relationship with God. “Forgiveness is God’s gift, modeled perfectly in the work of Jesus Christ and reflected dimly but frequently in human interactions” (McMinn, 2011, p. 249). The counselor must understand the process of forgiveness in order to help the client give and receive forgiveness. They must understand the client must forgive others, forgive themselves, and be forgiven by God in order to forgive.
“The act of redemption means the act of buying back, or recovering by paying a price… the text compares redemption to collecting green stamps that can be latter redeemed for merchandise” (McMinn, 2011, p. 291). Compared to human lives the stamps resemble our struggles we go through still leave us as humans being salvageable allowing us to restore our lives (2011).The counselor helps facilitate the healing process with clients who seek redemption. Being human the counselor has personal problems that cause us to have blind spots allowing sin to keep them from achieving redemption perfectly. Counselors have to look past their own imperfections to understand redemption (2011). Concrete Response
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