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Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling

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The American Association of Christian Counselors and Tyndale House Publishers are committed to ministering to the spiritual needs of people. This book is part of the professional series that offers counselors the latest techniques, theory, and general information that is vital to their work. While many books have tried to integrate theology and psychology, this book takes The American Association of Christian Counselors and Tyndale House Publishers are committed to ministering to the spiritual needs of people. This book is part of the professional series that offers counselors the latest techniques, theory, and general information that is vital to their work. While many books have tried to integrate theology and psychology, this book takes another step and explores the importance of the spiritual disciplines in psychotherapy, helping counselors to integrate the biblical principles of forgiveness, redemption, restitution, prayer, and worship into their counseling techniques. Since its first publication in 1996, this book has quickly become a contemporary classic--a go-to handbook for integrating what we know is true from the disciplines of theology and psychology and how that impacts your daily walk with God. This book will help you integrate spiritual disciplines--such as prayer, Scripture reading, confession--into your own life and into counseling others. Mark R. McMinn, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at Wheaton College Graduate School in Wheaton, Illinois, where he directs and teaches in the Doctor of Psychology program. A diplomate in Clinical Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology, McMinn has thirteen years of postdoctoral experience in counseling, psychotherapy, and psychological testing. McMinn is the author of Making the Best of Stress: How Life's Hassles Can Form the Fruit of the Spirit; The Jekyll/Hyde Syndrome: Controlling Inner Conflict through Authentic Living; Cognitive Therapy Techniques in Christian Counseling; and Christians in the Crossfire (written with James D. Foster). He and his wife, Lisa, have three daughters.


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The American Association of Christian Counselors and Tyndale House Publishers are committed to ministering to the spiritual needs of people. This book is part of the professional series that offers counselors the latest techniques, theory, and general information that is vital to their work. While many books have tried to integrate theology and psychology, this book takes The American Association of Christian Counselors and Tyndale House Publishers are committed to ministering to the spiritual needs of people. This book is part of the professional series that offers counselors the latest techniques, theory, and general information that is vital to their work. While many books have tried to integrate theology and psychology, this book takes another step and explores the importance of the spiritual disciplines in psychotherapy, helping counselors to integrate the biblical principles of forgiveness, redemption, restitution, prayer, and worship into their counseling techniques. Since its first publication in 1996, this book has quickly become a contemporary classic--a go-to handbook for integrating what we know is true from the disciplines of theology and psychology and how that impacts your daily walk with God. This book will help you integrate spiritual disciplines--such as prayer, Scripture reading, confession--into your own life and into counseling others. Mark R. McMinn, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at Wheaton College Graduate School in Wheaton, Illinois, where he directs and teaches in the Doctor of Psychology program. A diplomate in Clinical Psychology of the American Board of Professional Psychology, McMinn has thirteen years of postdoctoral experience in counseling, psychotherapy, and psychological testing. McMinn is the author of Making the Best of Stress: How Life's Hassles Can Form the Fruit of the Spirit; The Jekyll/Hyde Syndrome: Controlling Inner Conflict through Authentic Living; Cognitive Therapy Techniques in Christian Counseling; and Christians in the Crossfire (written with James D. Foster). He and his wife, Lisa, have three daughters.

30 review for Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I had to read this book for my grad class and I absolutely loved it! It is rare to find a "textbook" that is not dull and torture to read through. But this book is worth reading whether you are going into counseling or wanting to simply improve your discipleship skills. Excellent read and I have a feeling I will refer to this book many times throughout my education and future counseling practice. I had to read this book for my grad class and I absolutely loved it! It is rare to find a "textbook" that is not dull and torture to read through. But this book is worth reading whether you are going into counseling or wanting to simply improve your discipleship skills. Excellent read and I have a feeling I will refer to this book many times throughout my education and future counseling practice.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rick Sam

    This book gave me a basic introduction about Psychology, Theology and Spirituality integrated together for a Counselor. I think this book helped me to think more about my own self, the identity of self. It is really profound to think about your own self. It piqued my interest on Cognitive therapy and science. Reading through it, I had no clue what to say to people, when they share their deepest secrets, the author gives guidelines. I feel, you just have to do it rather than reading about it. I lo This book gave me a basic introduction about Psychology, Theology and Spirituality integrated together for a Counselor. I think this book helped me to think more about my own self, the identity of self. It is really profound to think about your own self. It piqued my interest on Cognitive therapy and science. Reading through it, I had no clue what to say to people, when they share their deepest secrets, the author gives guidelines. I feel, you just have to do it rather than reading about it. I loved the Author's insight on each Confession, Forgiveness, Redemption.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Evamarie62

    Insightful I found this book very insightful. The author has much wisdom and experience to share with anyone wishing to have an integrated approach to Christian Counseling. I will read again and again.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Traci

    This is not a read for fun, or for personal knowledge kind of book. It is a text book. If you are a considering counseling, pastoral counseling, clinical counseling, psychology, psychiatry, or pastor you will want to read this. It was a very good discussion of how, when, why to incorporate the spiritual disciplines into a counseling session. He gives the pros, the challenges, a good discussion of what to consider as you mentor and counsel. But more importantly, it gives the argument of how impor This is not a read for fun, or for personal knowledge kind of book. It is a text book. If you are a considering counseling, pastoral counseling, clinical counseling, psychology, psychiatry, or pastor you will want to read this. It was a very good discussion of how, when, why to incorporate the spiritual disciplines into a counseling session. He gives the pros, the challenges, a good discussion of what to consider as you mentor and counsel. But more importantly, it gives the argument of how important is for YOU as the COUNSELOR to practice your own spiritual disciplines in order to be prepared for the battles of counseling. On a personal side, while reading this I discovered my Meijers-Briggs profile, ISFJ, made it difficult to read this. McMInn drags a lot of things out, goes the round-a-bout way to get to the point. He is obviously not an S, F, or J on the Meijers-Briggs test. Once I realized he was more of a intuitive and spontaneous kind of writer, I found it easier to read the summaries at the end of the chapter, then dive into the chapter reading. That way I knew the practical piece and where he was headed. This was a good learning lesson for future reading of text books or difficult books....it was a personal growth moment for me, even at my age! LOL :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    Thoughtful, inspiring discussion of how Christian counsellors can and should integrate knowledge of psychology and theology along with their own christian spirituality in the counselling room.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Austin

    Great book regarding the interdisciplinary integration of psychology, theology, and spirituality. Dr. McMinn, lays the book out in a way that is easy to read. He first sets up the stage with the validity and place of religion in the counseling process in the opening chapter. Religious values have often been ignored by the psychology field, holding to a neutral-belief system of counseling. This book aims to be a reference of “counseling process and techniques” (McMinn, 2015, p. 6), to aid counselo Great book regarding the interdisciplinary integration of psychology, theology, and spirituality. Dr. McMinn, lays the book out in a way that is easy to read. He first sets up the stage with the validity and place of religion in the counseling process in the opening chapter. Religious values have often been ignored by the psychology field, holding to a neutral-belief system of counseling. This book aims to be a reference of “counseling process and techniques” (McMinn, 2015, p. 6), to aid counselors with faith integration. Along with psychology and theology, Dr. McMinn adds a third element to integration – spirituality (McMinn, 2015, p. 10). Spirituality differs from theology and psychology because of its tangential nature. Spirituality is more a journey each person takes, being built on experiences. Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling seeks to answer the question, “how do we practically use the Christian faith in our counseling?” Chapter two lays the framework for creating a counseling relationship that pursues spiritual and emotional health. With integration, there is a need to address the need for updating theoretical maps to encapsulate the multifaceted goals of the Christian counselor (McMinn, 2015). There are many nuances in every journey to health that fall outside the scope of a simple theoretical map. “The simple map isn’t wrong; it just leaves out details” (McMinn, 2015, p. 45). Good Christian counseling strengthens the counselee’s sense of self, helps develop honest assessment of their limitations and human need, and development of their relationship with God (McMinn, 2015, p. 64). The remaining six chapters’ present different interventions Christian counselors can use in the process of integration: prayer, scripture, sin, confession, forgiveness, and redemption. Each intervention is looked at through a psychological, theological, and spiritual perspective (McMinn, 2015, p. 65). McMinn takes great care to develop an integrated view of health, including both psychology and spirituality in this definition. Each chapter has been revised and adapted to include Dr. McMinn’s reflections on integration that have developed since the original publication in 1996 (McMinn, 2015). McMinn holds to his three-pronged approach to effective Christian counseling: psychology, theology, and spirituality. Developing a competency and sensitivity in each area is essential to the helping relationship.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Seeton

    No one, no methods are value-free. All counsellors unavoidably pass their worldviews to clients. What differs from non-Christian counselling is that Christian counsellors are the agent of redemptive love of Jesus Christ and its love overflows during counselling to the clients. God's love is the source of unconditional positive regard, of forgiveness, of realization of human brokenness, and of redemption. The line between counsellors' professional life and personal life are blurred because they e No one, no methods are value-free. All counsellors unavoidably pass their worldviews to clients. What differs from non-Christian counselling is that Christian counsellors are the agent of redemptive love of Jesus Christ and its love overflows during counselling to the clients. God's love is the source of unconditional positive regard, of forgiveness, of realization of human brokenness, and of redemption. The line between counsellors' professional life and personal life are blurred because they eventually can't pretend to be someone they are not during counselling. The gospel shapes a very healthy understanding of self and of others. The gospel provides the basis for a healthy, healing relationship.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Thomas

    Reading this text from a pastoral perspective, rather than that of a vocational counselor, it’s easy to get lost. Absent the context of that field, it often comes across as drudgery. However, the chapter on Sin is, alone, worth the price of admission. Rather than debate between sin and sickness, McMinn explains how sin IS the sickness. It’s among the best chapters on the human condition I’ve ever read. I read the entire text, and everything else is valuable to be sure, but it’s best skimmed for Reading this text from a pastoral perspective, rather than that of a vocational counselor, it’s easy to get lost. Absent the context of that field, it often comes across as drudgery. However, the chapter on Sin is, alone, worth the price of admission. Rather than debate between sin and sickness, McMinn explains how sin IS the sickness. It’s among the best chapters on the human condition I’ve ever read. I read the entire text, and everything else is valuable to be sure, but it’s best skimmed for the most pertinent information.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Serena Snead

    Good read. Insight into how/when/if you should incorporate spiritual disciplines into a professional counseling relationship. Seeks to take reader into a new, deeper understanding of “sin” and “redemption.” Focuses on allowing the counseling relationship to develop healthy sense of self, healthy sense of need, and healthy relationships. 10/10 recommend

  10. 4 out of 5

    Trent Thompson

    This was a helpful introduction to the integration of psychology, theology, and spirituality. McMinn combats the popular notion that psychology and theology are intrinsically at odds with one another, and instead puts forth integration as a way of applying modern counseling theory while remaining faithful to scripture. I am sure I will return to this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid O.

    This is such a great book! Especially if you are in ministry or are thinking of becoming a Christian counselor. It is a great resource on how to integrate your psychological expertise, your spiritual life and your theological understanding and applying it in your ministry or counseling office.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Gardiner

    Great book! Very eye-opening and inspirational. Pastoral Counsellors are partners with Jesus making people whole. It’s both challenging and exciting to be a part of the healing process.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Moriah Conant

    Read this for grad school, one of the only books from this session that I liked.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hicks

    Helpful, compelling, rich. Recharged my Christian batteries after a long foray into C.J. Jung. Highly recommend.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Josiah Durfee

    Not impressed, case studies were good, but information was so elementary a Freshman could have written it. I might reread it in the future.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Varble

    My favorite thing about this book was the creative names — Miss Stormy Ann Dempty, Dr. Ura Vicktem, Dr. S. Trey Tenarrow, Ms. R. E. Morse and many others 😆😂

  17. 4 out of 5

    Brett

    What is it that makes counseling uniquely Christian? McMinn wrestles with this question while offering principles for the use of prayer, scripture, and confession within the counseling relationship. Each of these spiritual disciplines offers unique contributions to the healing process, but also give rise to challenges. McMinn addresses this tension by offering suggestions as to when and where such practices are most (and least) appropriate. What is more, McMinn helps the reader to understand how What is it that makes counseling uniquely Christian? McMinn wrestles with this question while offering principles for the use of prayer, scripture, and confession within the counseling relationship. Each of these spiritual disciplines offers unique contributions to the healing process, but also give rise to challenges. McMinn addresses this tension by offering suggestions as to when and where such practices are most (and least) appropriate. What is more, McMinn helps the reader to understand how concepts such as sin, forgiveness, and redemption should be introduced into the counseling session. Overall, this is a very helpful resource full of real life examples. B+

  18. 4 out of 5

    Blake

    I used this book in my Critiquing Modern Philosophies of Counseling class. It was perfect for challenging the students to read with discernment and to identify the unbiblical elements within and to then discuss their thoughts about the book each week. This is not a book I would offer any recommendation for, other than if one wants to see some of the tragic results of embracing the concept that God's Word is not sufficient. I appreciated the spirit in which McMinn wrote but much of what was writt I used this book in my Critiquing Modern Philosophies of Counseling class. It was perfect for challenging the students to read with discernment and to identify the unbiblical elements within and to then discuss their thoughts about the book each week. This is not a book I would offer any recommendation for, other than if one wants to see some of the tragic results of embracing the concept that God's Word is not sufficient. I appreciated the spirit in which McMinn wrote but much of what was written came up short.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey L

    Excellent read This book is extremely well written and organized in a fashion that allows readers to understand each chapter of the book individually as well as all together. I recommend this book for any Christian or spiritual counselor or anyone aspiring to be a counselor. The text is insightful and opens one's eyes to the cautions and dangers of using the Bible in counseling but shows that the Bible has a time and a place in counseling as well. The update to the book is a wonderful addition to Excellent read This book is extremely well written and organized in a fashion that allows readers to understand each chapter of the book individually as well as all together. I recommend this book for any Christian or spiritual counselor or anyone aspiring to be a counselor. The text is insightful and opens one's eyes to the cautions and dangers of using the Bible in counseling but shows that the Bible has a time and a place in counseling as well. The update to the book is a wonderful addition to the text as well.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    This was a great treatment on counseling integration. I especially appreciated the case studies that presented various scenarios and unpacked the potential outcomes of those scenarios. They helped me to further my own understanding of integration and how I want to apply it in my own counseling experience.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meleah Allard

    This book was really helpful. It was a textbook in my course on counseling. The main text was written from a secular perspective so this book really helped with the faith integration. I found it an invaluable source that I will continue to refer to in the days ahead.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kim Blackham

    Mostly, I just kept plowing my way through and was very grateful when I was done.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bill Larson

    This was a text book for an Intergration of Theology, Psychology, and Spirituality master's level course. It was actually a very interesting read as well as very imformative. This was a text book for an Intergration of Theology, Psychology, and Spirituality master's level course. It was actually a very interesting read as well as very imformative.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    This is a good book for christian counseling who want to integrate thoughts from christianity and psychology

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Great perspective and practical application

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This book is slow to start with, but practical and good. I believe in McMinn's viewpoint and found this to be worth the time. This book is slow to start with, but practical and good. I believe in McMinn's viewpoint and found this to be worth the time.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Required reading for school.

  28. 5 out of 5

    A. Smith

    This is a great comprehensive book about the integration of psychology and theology I have read. The author provides readers with practical and personal examples.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Danny Bennett

    Sped read this one, the parts that caught my eye were pretty good.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cris

    Dr. McMinn writes from a broad base of experience in both practice and teaching the counseling art. I am pleased to be able to highly recommend McMinn's volume as he aptly conjoins all the major elements in psychology, counseling and Scripture to help us better understand how they can intersect and yet be different and divergent. Dr. McMinn draws upon his astute skills and share with us a picture or vision of where the counseling profession and particularly, Christian counseling, must go in orde Dr. McMinn writes from a broad base of experience in both practice and teaching the counseling art. I am pleased to be able to highly recommend McMinn's volume as he aptly conjoins all the major elements in psychology, counseling and Scripture to help us better understand how they can intersect and yet be different and divergent. Dr. McMinn draws upon his astute skills and share with us a picture or vision of where the counseling profession and particularly, Christian counseling, must go in order to remain viable in the professional craft as well as remaining true to theological truth and spiritual relationship. I thank Dr. McMinn for his enormous contribution to the counseling profession in this superbly written book.

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