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McMinn is a clinical psychologist with a stable foundation in cognitive therapy. In the book, the author seriously tells readers about the significance of Christianity in counseling office. With this he gives several examples of the best strategies to use while trying to join the two; Christianity and counseling. From his cognitive therapy base and point of view, he readers are reminded of importance of building trust as therapeutic relationship ensues. This plays a major role in dictating achievement of long-term change/results in the side of the client. Going through the book, it is evident that the author advances the conviction that Christian counselors are not only supposed to be well versed in the latest psychosomatic methods and well-informed about theological perceptions, but they also have to have a religious maturity.
McMinn acknowledges that most of the counselors who have Christian background in most cases do not use bible as they engage in counseling clients. An explanation of how Christians deemed to be hard cores rarely used the bible in psychology. It is worth noting that McMinn not only persist on using the bible, scriptures prayers as well as sacrament in trying to offer counseling but goes an extra mile in providing the readers with practical advices that are to aid applicability (McMinn, 1996).
In the book, how powerful the word of God is are highlighted by McMinn. However, it is apparent that the present Christian counselors only use the scripture as a backing to the way they offer counseling. The author tries to correct this kind of notion and behavior as he attracts the attentions of Christian counselors to how import the scripture is when incorporated in offering counseling services to clients.
The author holds a very strong believe that for one to be effective and successful in counseling, one opt to acknowledge that the profession is deeply a personal initiative and process that mirrors his/her Christian way of living. Additionally it reflects the counselors experience as well as educational background. On the same note, praying for client has been brought forth by the author as a tool that can help and keep client away from risk. However, he notes that it can be harmful. Nonetheless, counselors are advised to pray on their own so that they remain closer and stronger.
McMinn, 1996 advises that it is upon the counselors to know when to appropriately apply the scripture usually on the basis of the client's mental and spiritual well-being. Confessing of sins has been thought in the book to have the potential of leading clients to have a new relationship with God. The refusal to confess is attributed to discomfort associated with it and out of pride individual may see it is of no use. Forgiveness can also be used by counselors and it can help clients to get off the pain as well as bitter memories that hold them back. This is a Christian obligation which must come from compassion as well as kindness. The last aspect that is applicable to counseling is redemption-a process of recovery as God washes away the sins of the client offering him/her a new lease of Christian life. This is attainable when counselors provide comfort.
It is no doubt that the link between Christianity and counseling will continue to elicit more debate as the connection is very complex. McMinn asserts that possessing a strong base in theology and psychology are key in helping clients fully comprehend the link.
I usually engage myself in lay counseling at my local church and at the school. Being a lay counselor means that I do not gain any financial benefits. This kind of volunteering is one major way for helping acquire experience as I sharpen my weak areas. Despite the fact that I volunteer, am professionally called upon to be ethical just like professional counselors. By going through the content of McMinn's book, it left me with lots of questions in regards of linking counseling and theology. It is worth mentioning that factoring the concept of monetary gain by professional counselors; some individuals have cast doubts in their services and are now turning to those of lay counselors where I fall. Similarly, there are those who believe lay counselors have not come of age to adequately address their mental and emotional problems.
Personally, psychology and theology are linked and cannot be separated. Similarly, to adequately and successfully offer clients a lone lasting solution to their emotional and mental problems, then incorporation of religion doctrine, psychology, faith are of significance. As a lay counselor, building holistic counseling calls for the entire process of healing the flesh, mind and soul. To do this, there is need to integrate theories that do not have religious backing and use of the Bible. The synergy brought about by these two is usually manifested in clients who come out healed of their problems. Counseling has been sought after as the only major remedy for the day to day emotional problems facing mankind. In my view, it is only those counselors who have a religious or theological backing that can help clients deal with their problems as regards emotions.
I have no doubt in my mind that the book is vital in guiding both experienced and new counselors. It has a great capacity to making counselors incorporate theological intervention as they help clients overcome their problems. Being psychodynamic comes with taking part in a personal therapy. Examples used by the author of the book do have basis from cognitive behavior and psychodynamic advance.
The author's ability to integrate theology and counseling is attributable to his training as a cognitive psychologist. One may be made to buy the idea that McMinn is a priest as well as a counselor least the inside cover is read but he is a devoted born again Christian. After close examination of the content of the book, I buy the idea that for me to be an effective and successful counselor having a strong and concrete foundation in psychology and religious teachings (theology) are important ingredients.
The book focuses in using cognitive behavior and psychodynamic bents. Various individuals that sought the services of counselors are after those that have religious backing. This is because trust is used during the entire healing process. McMinn book targets counselors that are fascinated in joining the two concepts; religion and psychology. It is worth noting that opponents of McMinn's approach may argue that the approach can only work in a small group of individuals. It is true that the book is specifically tailored to cater for counselors who address issues of clients that are believers and are after a faith based intervention (McMinn, 1996). Skeptics have argued that instead of the approach to attract individuals facing a myriad of psychological problems, it instead scare them away. In my view this is because of perceive emotional stress and pride of the clients.
McMinn, 1996 has also clearly argued about coming up with a scientific background in counseling. It is worth remembering that the concepts; theology and psychology are different. In one side, psychologists hold that theological steps in counseling have no room to be supported by science. Or this reason, debates will always ensue regarding the same issues.
With a clear understanding that counseling is a field that is gaining popularity in a very fast rate as it is being used to solve current moral issue, I need to have strategies that will better place me in this profession. It is no doubt that psychological as well as moral issues do face mankind regardless of religion. While I strive to acquire more skill in counseling, I see the need to have a very strong religious basis as I deliver the service to human race.
I intend to allocate more time to help in counseling as this will propel my understanding of the relationship between theology and counseling. To diversify my experience, I will liaise with other neighboring churches to be incorporated in their counseling team. In terms of academic am planning to enroll for a doctorate in psychology and counseling in an academic institution that offer the blend of these two vital disciplines.
At present, I engage myself in seriously reflecting on what the bible says as well as praying on my own so that I remain closer and strong in God. I desire to learn more about sin, confession, forgiveness and redemption as and their link with counseling. I hold the same opinion as McMinn concerning the low rate of Christian counselors using the bible to only back their model of counseling as well as the two major reasons that hinder confession; pride and remorse. The book has been an eye opener in my views with regards to counseling and theology (McMinn, 1996).