Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling

Reply to 2 classmates for each forum. You must explain briefly (200-250 words) as you reply to your classmates, probe their answers. In your replies to classmates’ posts, challenge conclusions as appropriate. Include a biblical worldview. You are required to include at least one reference in each reply. Remember to use APA formatting.


Chapters 1-2: McMinn, M. R. (2011). Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling (Revised ed.). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House. ISBN: 9780842352529.

Entwistle, D. N. (2015). Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity: An introduction to worldview issues, philosophical foundations, and models of integration (3rd ed.). Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers. ISBN: 9781498223485.

Chapter 4: Hawkins, R., & Clinton, T. (2015). The new Christian counselor: A fresh biblical & transformational approach. Eugene, OR: Harvest House. ISBN: 9780736943543.

Justin Post: For Mary, it would be very important to exercise caution when integrating scripture and prayer into session. The fact that she still reads her Bible and still claims to be a believer is a good sign. It means that the door is not closed and that spiritual interventions could still be beneficial to her. I think it would be good to start Mary out with short times of meditation in and out of session. If we go by the assessment map, Mary needs to work on a healthy sense of herself and her relationship with her religion (McMinn, 2011). Allowing her the opportunity to take some time to meditate during session could let her explore some of these feelings in a therapeutic environment without the risk of the counselor triggering memories of her father.

It might be more difficult to successfully incorporate scripture, with Mary. The counselor needs to avoid coming off as condescending or like they are guiding Mary’s interpretations of scripture (Brewer, & Peters, n.d.). This is especially important for Mary considering her past. In later sessions, the counselor might be able to explore imagery in the session (Brewers, & Peters, n.d.). Maybe go through the story of Jesus healing the centurion’s servant or the man at the pool of Bethesda. This might help the client relate to the healing and faith aspect of her spirituality.

From a psychological perspective, this is a good case that illustrates counselors need to let clients lead their own therapy and feel like they are empowered to effect their own change. (Bowers, & Peters, n.d.). Mary is struggling with reconciling portions of her faith and her life experiences and a counselor trying to lead her could potentially trigger feeling from her past trauma. I questioned whether or not to even entertain the idea of incorporating scripture with Mary. There are many things to be cautious of with her. I think it would be ok if the discussions are client led and passages are only brought up to explore her feelings about them and not impose my own.


Brewer, G., & Peters, C., (n.d.). [Prayer for psychological and spiritual health]. Lynchburg, VA: Liberty University.

McMinn, M. R. (2011). Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling (Revised ed.). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House. ISBN: 9780842352529.

Amanda C. Post: Mary’s circumstances would require a great deal of care on behalf of the counselor providing care. The use of prayer in a counseling session would first be addressed by asking Mary’s comfortability with prayer in a general sense. Due to Mary’s reported distance from God, it may be best to utilize silent prayer during the counseling session as well as outside the counseling session (McMinn, 2011). This could also lead to mistrust in the counseling relationship. Silent prayer can help the counselor maintain their spiritual focus and allow God to work through the session (McMinn, 2011). Although prayer has been noted to reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms, it may be inappropriate to encourage Mary to pray at home or keep a log (McMinn, 2011). In time, once a healthy counseling relationship has been established, the use of prayer in this way could promote a healthier view of God for Mary (Peters, n.d.). Similarly, the use of scriptures within the counseling session could be inappropriate in the counseling relationship due to the traumatic and abusive use of scripture from her father. Although scriptural truths may be present, it would be unwise to directly quote scripture, as it could potentially lead to extreme emotional reactions in Mary (McMinn, 2011).

When considering the integration of theology into this case, it should be done with caution to reduce harm to the client. Integrating theology can in the beginning of the counseling relationship would be implicit, using biblical truths without explicitly stating the source or with the use of undisclosed prayers (McMinn, 2011). As Mary develops a healthier view of God and His word, a more explicit nature of integration can take place in the form of disclosed prayers and with great caution, giving scriptures to read as homework (McMinn, 2011). From the psychological standpoint, assessments could be done to verify if Mary does indeed have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) using the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES) (Levy & Swanson, 2008). Integrating theology and psychology is still present, although implicit, in the counselors use of silent prayer in and out of counseling sessions and incorporating biblical truths.


Levy, B., & Swanson, J. E. (2008, Spring). Clinical assessment of dissociative identity disorder

among college counseling clients. Journal of College Counseling, 11(1), 73+. Retrieved from


McMinn, M.R. (2011). Psychology, theology, and spirituality in Christian counseling (Revised


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