Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality
in Christian Counseling
4-MAT Review: McMinn
Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian Counseling written by Mark McMinn (2011) discuss the integration of psychology and spirituality including impacts of such in our daily lives both personally and professionally. According to McMinn (2011) there are three essential categories that must be considered within counseling; psychology, theology, and spirituality. To incorporate the three categories, the book down into further sections including prayer, scripture, sin, confession, forgiveness, and redemption including “what if” sections with ...view middle of the document...
Sin is viewed as a source of emotional problems itself or that the concept of sin is the problem (McMinn, 2011). The difference is whether sin is considered an internal or external attribution. Are people sick because of personal sin or is it a result of outward influences causing the illness. McMinn (2011) discusses the appropriate situations of silence, pondering, questioning, and direct censure as well as the opposite option of not confronting the sin within counseling. According to McMinn (2011) the situation of the client and the nature of the therapeutic relationship is the variable upon which one would possibly confront or explore the appropriateness of discussing sin.
Confession can be a result of the need for repentance and restitution or even as a result of the need for psychological insight and understanding from the counselor (McMinn, 2011). According to McMinn, confession is one of the most important chapters in the book because it speaks to who we are and those that we counsel including the roles we take while interacting with one another. Confession is felt to give people a sense of relief and to ask for forgiveness allowing the person to be released from the sins of their past (McMinn, 2011). However counseling is not meant to get people to confess their sins, rather effective counseling is the result of a positive and therapeutic relationship between the counselor and client that encourages safety enough to tell the truth (McMinn, 2011).
Forgiveness is a result of recognizing and grieving over damage done then choosing to release the negative thoughts and emotions directed towards the offender (McMinn, 2011). Often times people mix the need to excuse someone with the action of forgiving. Forgiving someone does not require the offender to be remorseful of to ask for repentance. Excusing is casual and routine and a passive acceptance of the offender and their actions. A client can excuse without ever forgiving the person for their actions. McMinn (2011) also discusses the need to not force forgiveness as a sense of moral obligation and this can be detrimental to the clients.
Redemption is the final section discussed as the means of buying back or recovering by paying a price (McMinn, 2011). Redemption is the culmination of all the aspects discussed in this text and is the final goal for all Christians. According to McMinn (2011), redemption is a rich and complex topic that requires an understanding of God’s grace and gratitude. The belief and understanding that sin is what separates us from God and by humbling ourselves we can also God’s transforming mercy (McMinn, 2011).
As a Christian, I believe that every counseling session should begin with prayer, and that we should pray for our clients outside of sessions. I also believe that prayer and the use of Scripture should be dependent on the client and the mutual relationship between the client and the counselor. In reading the...