Psychology, Theology and Spirituality in Christian Counseling Essay


Traditionally. psychological science and divinity have stood in resistance to each other. Christian counsellors felt that the relationship between the two subjects is basically adversarial. Those who tried to incorporate psychological science and divinity were criticized for making so. As clip goes by. of import penetrations about human behaviour and the importance of spiritualty have been highlighted. As such. the rules of psychotherapeutics and psychological science could make good to mind the lessons offered by divinity. specifically the rules of supplication. worship. the Christian centrality of salvation and forgiveness.

McMinn’s book highlighted new theories. techniques. and other of import information in psychotherapeutics and psychological science. The book basically integrates religious rules into the pattern of psychological science and psychotherapeutics alternatively of the other manner around. Hence. even non-Christian counsellors can do usage of Christian rules in covering with their counselees. In the class of this integrating. McMinn discusses psychological science. divinity and spiritualty and the different countries where they overlap and where meaningful integrating can be achieved in assisting people deal with different issues in their emotional. mental and overall wellbeing.

In traditional psychotherapeutics. faith tends to be relegated to the out of boundss and non brought out into the unfastened in treatments. Psychology alternatively relies on human experience. the significances generated from these experiences and how such significances impact the life of a individual. God’s engagement. more or less is relegated to the sideways. On the other manus. divinity has placed God at the centre of understanding human behaviour and the societal procedures in the universe. Hence. God’s word and the manner it is interpreted are used in measuring human experiences and behaviours. Because of the common exclusivity of the two subjects. practicians of either subject tended to disregard what the other has to offer.

McMinn. through his book nevertheless. airss that the Christian position of worlds and of God’s engagement in the lives of people has an of import impact in the mental and emotional aid of people. Christian patterns such as supplication and the reading of Bible can assist a batch in finding the status of persons and assist them originate in the procedure of looking into themselves and measuring themselves in visible radiation of God’s word.

If this were done. the counselee will be directed to countries of wickedness in his life. In a sense. he will non be able to understand the countries of wickedness unless he has a criterion to utilize. In this instance. it is the Bible with the aid of the Holy Spirit that directs the person’s attending to the countries of wickedness in his life. When these countries shall hold been recognized. so confession can be done. Confession helps the individual put a name to the unidentified feelings of guilt and shame. When they have been named. so their power over the individual tends to loosen. Confession. a distinguishable Christian pattern. helps the individual unload and pour out his bosom. This in bend paves the manner for forgiveness to come—forgiveness from oneself. from the people involved and from God.

Forgiveness so makes salvation possible. Even if the cicatrixs of the wickednesss are still at that place. salvation enables a individual to walk off from wickedness and its painful effects and get down anew. More than merely get downing anew. nevertheless. salvation entails being re-integrated into the community and into the universe.

Response to the Book

As a Christian. I was raised in a scene where the Bible is the authorization over major issues in life. As such. I could place with those who tend to look at Psychology with leery eyes. As such. with McMinn’s book came as an of import eye-opener in respects to the benefits that the integrating of psychological science. divinity and spiritualty could make in the overall wellbeing of a individual.

Confession though is a small hard to make. Oftentimes. the church fosters a topographic point where people do non experience safe to squeal. Fellowship besides tends to acquire broken down because of lip service. Peoples are afraid of opening up. afraid of being looked down every bit non being adequate of a Christian. A friend of mine was fighting with depression even in the thick of making ministry for the Sunday School of the church. He did non actively seek aid for fright of being discredited in his ministry.

By the clip he sought aid he was under the throes of his depression and needed to hold professional aid. As a friend. I did non hold much to assist him because I did non understand adequate psychological science in assisting him. I was loaded with bible poetries. which he besides knew. I found out that even if I had dozenss of bible poetries. it was non plenty without a good apprehension of how a person’s experiences impact his emotions and his wellbeing. If I merely heeded the demand to confer with psychological science. I would hold been in a better place to assist my friend even if I were non a professional.

During the class of my friend’s therapy. he related to me the reding procedure and it was based about entirely on psychological science. Even if God was being brought into treatment because of my friend’s religion. He was non cardinal in the procedure. There were besides techniques used by the clinical psychologist that resembled some of the Christian patterns that we were exposed to but were non being practiced in church.

At first. I was disbelieving of the procedure because the function of God and of religion has been minimized. As I continued my treatments with my friend. nevertheless. there was a noticeable alteration in my friend and he was so going better. In one of our conversations. he even talked about his realisation that psychological science has much to offer to Christians who want to do a difference in the lives of others in footings of guidance and assisting header with the challenges of life.

Integration of Psychology. Theology. and Spirituality

The greatest acquisition for me in this book is the thought that three separate subjects could be integrated for the publicity of the entire wellbeing of a individual. Indeed. psychological science can assist look at the mental facet of individual and assist supply extra apprehension of the significance of the experiences that people go through. More than that. there are techniques and tools that psychology offers. These can so be used by a Christian counsellor in assisting a individual who is traveling through a hard clip in his life.

Psychology can besides assist blunt the inclination of divinity to concentrate excessively much on wickedness. guilt. and shame. These constructs nevertheless. should non be set aside wholly as they are besides of import in assisting a individual come to footings with his true state of affairs in life. The function of divinity is to convey God’s criterions to the scenes in which worlds find themselves. God’s word stands as the criterions in which human behaviour may be subjected to.

Bing Christians. the primary intent of guidance is to aline a person’s life in the criterions of God. This is what I am alarmed about in the book—that in the procedure of incorporating divinity and psychological science. divinity might be relegated to the side and psychological science takes centre phase. There is so a topographic point for scientific enquiry and the usage of tools and techniques developed by adult male for the improvement and authorization of a individual.

Yet. as Christians. God’s word should be the first footing of truth and criterions of behaviour. Psychology trades with emotions. ideas. responses. and other penetrations from the lives and experiences of worlds. Psychology. in itself. might even pull a individual off from God and establish a new version of spiritualty that may non be in concurrence with the Christian religion.

Another inquiry that I had in the class of reading the book concerns the Christian patterns and rules. If for illustration. non-Christian psychologists do urge the pattern of these rules. such patterns may merely be practiced for the exclusive intent of bettering the individual and non for the original intent of these rules and patterns.

Prayer. Bible. confession. forgiveness and salvation are constructs that are to a great extent Christian in kernel. Can they be practiced efficaciously outside of the Christian context? Furthermore. if a Christian counsellor would utilize these patterns. would non that be constituted as a agency of proselytism?

There have been challenges in the integrating of psychological science into divinity. On the other manus. while incorporating religious rules and patterns into psychological science has its benefits. there may besides be drawbacks. The spiritualty of the individual may be seen as merely a agency of bettering one’s wellbeing and non as agencies of following Christ. Spirituality so might go as merely another tool for adult male to utilize alternatively of being used for the glorification of God.

Furthermore. the issue of openly advancing Christian patterns in the pattern of psychological science might non be welcome to certain sorts of people. Although it is good to advance Christian patterns. there may be issues in footings of their general acceptableness. particularly because faith is being seen as a extremely personal affair.

However. what I like about the book was the manner that McMinn used the term spiritualty alternatively of faith. Spiritualty seems to bespeak a higher degree of significance in the life of people. Christianity as a agency to guaranting religious and mental wellness was clearly elucidated by McMinn. He showed in his treatments that Christianity is non merely about church attending every Sunday. Rather. it is a dynamic religion that can assist a individual trade with issues on a day-to-day footing.

McMinn besides was riled against the sort of spiritualty that seeks merely to function the involvement of an person. particularly the type that integrates this and that from different subjects. His presentation about the integrating of psychological science. divinity. and spiritualty was non merely theoretical ; he presented instance surveies. which illustrated that Christianity as a religion is relevant to 21st century life.


The divide between divinity and psychological science has been traveling on for a long clip in their pertinence in reding. There are those who look at psychological science as a strictly human-made subject and that it is wholly incompatible with divinity and the manner that God’s word trades with human experiences. emotions. and mental wellness jobs. Yet. in this age. the techniques. tools and schemes offered by psychological science can no longer be denied. They besides offer something which Christian counselors—professional or not—can usage. Such techniques nevertheless should non be used in themselves. Rather. they should be integrated with God’s word and with divinity so that true spiritualty may be attained by a individual.

Spiritualty is more than merely faith. It takes into history the overall wellbeing of the individual. which is the purpose of psychological science. It besides helps a individual align his life with God’s word. which is the purpose of divinity.

When there is a balance and adept usage of psychological science. divinity and spiritualty. counsellors everyplace will be able to look at the benefit of God’s ways for worlds. It will besides assist worlds avoid booby traps and if they fell into such. they can easy confer with God’s word and acquire back on path.


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