(In preparation for this discussion question, make sure you have read the course materials for Modules/Weeks 1-2: Hawkins & Clinton chapters 1-8, and the lectures for weeks 1-2) Textbook you must own: The New Christian Counselor A fresh biblical & transformational approach by Ron Hawkins and Tim Clinton
Discussion Question: The lectures talked about the value of integrating psychology and our Christian faith in counseling. When you think of the area of human services counseling, per se, what do you think are the most important points made in the lecture that would encourage you to look for ways to use both psychology and theology/Christian spirituality in your human services counseling? Even if you work in a secular setting (such as a community mental health center) how can you utilize some of the elements of a “Christian” counseling approach (as defined in the lecture) in all human services counseling settings?
Put another way, how could you argue that in answering the question “what is the solution to our problems” we should draw from both psychology and theology/spirituality, rather than just one worldview perspective? In your answer, demonstrate that you are reflecting on solid concepts from the lectures; cite the lectures correctly as directed in the discussion board instructions document.
Replies: In your responses to at least two classmates must challenge your classmates and expand the discussion. ELIMINATE simple “I agree” statements. Where do you think your classmates’ posts made strong points and where could their posts have been strengthened? Refer to the discussion board grading rubric for additional ideas for your responses to classmates.
The main points raised in the lectures are that the modern counseling professionals encounters are increasingly challenging. Also, what a diverse client needs including those that prefer acquiring their services from therapists of a similar religious background (Hawkins & Clinton, 2015). The traditional psychotherapy models held a pessimistic view towards the incorporation of religion in the field of counseling. However, modern studies have revealed that faith could bring positive benefits to the clients’ mental health by helping them find hope and comfort in the grace of God. Psychology and religion are distinct disciplines, but their integration is essential because therapists often borrow different concepts and values from their faith. Religion can help to identify and resolve the biased perceptions of psychological theories regarding humans and their dilemmas. This aspect would increase the use of ethical approaches in the promotion of mental health and wellness.
The holy scriptures provide numerous guidelines and highlights for promoting physical and mental health (Stokley. N.d.). Psychologists can derive crucial techniques and insights from such sources, which would help them serve Christian clients effectively. The use of such approaches would facilitate quick recovery and mental wellness. It is because most Christians view the scripture as an authoritative and inerrant text that provides standard procedures for approaching faith and practice. The Christian principles claim their internal sufficiency that lacks in secular psychology. Therefore, incorporating the two disciplines could provide sufficient understanding and solution to the physical and nonphysical issues of society members.
Psychology can also help in exploring the religious beliefs of clients through scientific methods. This approach would help to view the spiritual practices and beliefs of different individuals from a mental wellness perspective. Religion has a significant effect on individuals’ beliefs, methods, and behaviors because of its pivotal role in the formation, running, and connecting the society. Religion has been a critical component of culture throughout history, and its effects on human behavior and mental wellness can not be taken lightly. Throughout history, the society has witnessed instances where religion was used to liberate, oppress, incite, mislead, and do other unspeakable acts (Anderson, 2015). Therefore, it is essential to evaluate such effects of the denomination on mental wellness. Religion and psychology can be integrated because researchers have not identified any sufficient conflicts arising from combining the disciplines. However, they should be combined carefully, and in a sophisticated way, that recognizes the various pitfalls and risks. This aspect would facilitate the sufficient balance in the use of secular therapy and religious techniques to promote the mental health and wellness of clients.
Anderson, J. R. (2015). The social-psychology of religion-The importance of studying religion using scientific methodologies.
Hawkins, R., & Clinton, T. (2015). The new Christian counselor: A fresh biblical and transformational approach. Harvest House Publishers.
Stokley, M. The Integration of Psychology and Christianity.