When I think of human services counseling and the distinct role of Christian counselors in that field
When I think of human services counseling and the distinct role of Christian counselors in that field, a few things come to mind. The first is that most people do want their faith and belief systems integrated into their therapeutic journey (Hawkins & Clinton, 2015). The second is the triadic nature of Christian counseling, which means that Christian counselors recognize the complexity of the body, soul, and spirit (Hawkins & Clinton, 2015) and how each intersect and influence a person’s wellness or lack thereof. The third thing I think of is how the first and second things have to perform a very careful and deliberate balancing act so that the client can get all that they need from the counseling.
Regardless of their individual faith, all counselors have the responsibility to maintain relevance and keep abreast of research, training, and advancements in the psychology and counseling world. Because Christian counseling is triadic, it recognizes the multiple modalities of counseling, and the value of integrating theology and psychology. One of the benefits of said integration is that a more holistic solution to the client’s problem can be reached. Moreover, that solution can be the summation of approaches from separate worldviews, making the solution more specific to the person and the problem. An auxiliary benefit of the integration of theology and psychology is that it can allow the Christian counselor to tailor intervention and treatment plans to a client’s preferred epistemology (Liberty University).
When I think of integration, I think particularly of the interdisciplinary kind. Interdisciplinary integration relies heavily of the unity of truths (Liberty University). I’d like to emphasize the plurality of the word truth. Interdisciplinary integration acknowledges and allows for more than one truth to coexist. Operating in an interdisciplinary space allows for the Christian counselor to optimize their faith and acknowledge that (or lack thereof) of their client while addressing the problem. Struggles are non-discriminate, and solutions should be, too. For example, suppose a couple is experiencing difficulty moving forward after infidelity. I chose that example because it’s one that can be found in both Christian and secular settings. Integration would look like this: theology lends grace; psychology lends self-actualization; and spirituality lends reconciliation (Liberty University). All three of those elements can make for a great way forward for the couple; and that solution wouldn’t have been possible without integration.
Hawkins, R. & Clinton, T. (2015). The New Christian Counselor: A Fresh Biblical & Transformational Approach. Harvest House Publishers.
Liberty University (n.d.). COUN 506 Week Two, Lecture One: Worldview Questions and Answers. [PowerPoint]. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty University Online.
Liberty University (n.d.). COUN 506 Week Two, Lecture Two: Philosophical Underpinnings of Integrative Counseling. [PowerPoint]. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty University Online.
Liberty University (n.d.). COUN 506 Week Two, Lecture Three: Interdisciplinary Integration. [PowerPoint]. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty University Online.
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