Theology and Spirituality, did an excellent job discussing the aspects of psychology, theology and spirituality, and how they can be integrated by a Counselor. Each chapter opened with a real life example of what it would be like to not properly integrate psychology, theology and spirituality. Christian counselors are charged to incorporate spirituality in their personal lives and properly display these same practices with their clients. Christian counselors are individuals who seek and successfully become trained in counseling theories and techniques as well as theology practices such as using prayer and scripture. “This type of training can rarely be accomplished in the classroom. But it calls us to lives of spiritual discipline and a personal love for scripture” (McMinn, 2011, p. 139). According to McMinn, the goals of Christian counseling are multi-faceted (McMinn, 2011). Most counseling maps are focused on mental health. McMinn (2011) presented a healing map.
This map displayed the link between self-sufficiency, brokenness and the healing relationship and how they relate to the core foundations; prayer, scripture, sin, confessions, forgiveness and redemption. Effective counselors are passionate and irrepressible in the walk with God. McMinn also cautions counselors on the limitations and challenges they will face in counseling. Each section discussed one core foundation. McMinn not only discussed these topics in depth, he also related them to the healing map by answering these three questions; Will this help establish a healthy sense of self? Will this help establish a healthy sense of need? And will this help establish a healing relationship? (McMinn, 2011). McMinn discussed the true purpose that self-sufficiency served and pointed out that this purpose was greatly corrupted, leading to the brokenness that requires a healing relationship.
Self-sufficiency is our freedom to love and be kind. When we take this freedom too far, we end up having to face consequences that can have lasting effects, with the absence of a healing relationship. Brokenness not only causes us to seek counseling, but it draws us nearer to God and this in turn allows a true healing relationship to begin (McMinn, 2011). The foundations that McMinn discussed; prayer, scripture, confession of sin, forgiveness and redemptions, are all needed to properly devise therapy that will have actual results. When a counselor uses prayer in their session, it enhances the client’s spiritual growth which also strengthens their faith (McMinn, 2011). “When we pray we humble ourselves and ask to become a partner in knowing and doing God’s will” (McMinn, 2011, p.85). When scripture is applied in counseling, it not only teaches the client how to understand it, but how to incorporate it in their lives, further strengthening their relationship with God. Scripture also helps the client recognize and understand sin.
The realization of sin, helps the client understand why they are suffering and that there is real hope to overcome the suffering when they overcome sin. After acknowledging their sin, the client can now accept forgiveness and mercy. When the client is competent in acknowledging their sin and accepting mercy, they are not capable of establishing a sense of self (McMinn, 2011). The best part of the process is redemption. Redemption allows the counselor to honestly look at each core foundation with the client. Redemption provides that mirror of change and the growth to overcome obstacles in the future. Concrete Response
McMinn, M. R. (2011). Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling (Rev. ed.). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House