Can psychology and christian counseling really be integrated

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Can psychology and christian counseling really be integrated

Virginia Todd Holeman Imagine a typical counseling session where a counselee talks with a counselor about a particular life dilemma.

If I were a fly on the wall, I could probably tell what theoretical counseling orientation e. Does theology matter to the practice of counseling?

I specify counseling practice because much has been written about the philosophical integration of psychology and theology. Less has been written about the ways the practice of counseling and theology interact.

In this essay I take up that question: What difference does theology make when a counselor sits with a client? Thanks to a grant from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theological Education, I have had an opportunity to attend to this matter.

The questions that are central to many theologies are often the same questions that are addressed by counselors: What motivates human beings? What do healthy human relationships look like?

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What behaviors and attitudes contribute to human thriving? What is the goal of life? What makes life go awry? What is the source of pain?

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What does one do when life is painful? How does one make sense of pain? To what degree are humans responsible for what happens to them? What do vibrant communities look like? What behaviors and attitudes contribute to creating vibrant communities? How does one respond to social injustice and oppression?

These common questions suggest that theology can have a prominent voice within the practice of counseling. However, the authoritative sources for these two disciplines differ. The practice of counseling draws primarily upon empirical research from the social sciences. Theological constructions draw from a variety of sources including philosophy, church history, and Scripture, to name a few.

When persons seek counseling, they are often asking what they can do to change things and wondering why their life is like it is.

Counseling helps clients develop skills to cope with the dilemmas in their lives while theological reflection can help clients make meaning of these same dilemmas.

Can psychology and christian counseling really be integrated

The integration of counseling practice and theology can take two forms: Explicit integration can involve using religious or spiritual interventions or engaging the client in unequivocal theologically oriented conversations.

For example, explicit integration includes reading sacred texts as part of a session or as a homework assignment, referring to biblical stories as part of the counseling conversation, praying with a client, or assigning spiritually formative disciplines or activities to the client.

It also includes the kind of language a counselor adopts. Does a counselor use the language of sin, repentance, grace, forgiveness, or holiness? Is the presence of God openly acknowledged at some point during the session?

When a significant overlap exists between Christian beliefs and a particular counseling approach, a Christian who counsels can adapt that secular theory for Christian clients.

Toward a Comprehensive Christian Approach [InterVarsity, ] have developed integrative psychotherapy, a sophisticated blending of theology, spiritual formation, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Can psychology and christian counseling really be integrated

A Guide to Brief Therapy [InterVarsity, ] has developed hope-focused marriage counseling, an approach that draws upon findings from empirical research on marriage, brief therapy, and sound biblical principles.

Although explicit integration is evident to the client, implicit integration may not be so readily discernable. Implicit integration happens within the counselor.

Christians who counsel in secular settings may be limited to implicit integration. I will share four ways that a Wesleyan-holiness theology contributes to my own implicit integration.

Second, the therapeutic relationship also reflects my theological commitments. Maddox [Kingswood, ] Therefore I want to be a channel through whom the love of God for this client can flow. This means that I need to be participating in the life of God so that the ways of God and the goals of God are primary in my own life.Welcome back to school.

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Although he really loves to. Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling Sondra Rule Liberty University Summary The author of this book Mark McMinn explains how psychology, theology, and spirituality can all be integrated into Christian counseling.

He discusses the difference between the . Integrating Counseling Practice and Theology. I specify counseling practice because much has been written about the philosophical integration of psychology and theology.

Less has been written about the ways the practice of counseling and theology interact. a Christian who counsels can adapt that secular theory for Christian clients. For. đŸ”¥Citing and more! Add citations directly into your paper, Check for unintentional plagiarism and check for writing mistakes.

Integration is a difficult task, partly because there are multiple variations and interpretations within both disciplines. I suggest an approach which considers similarities between theology and psychology within the biblical drama of creation, fall and redemption. Program Highlights for the Online Master of Arts in Applied Psychology.

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