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Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling (AACC Library) Hardcover – June 25, 1996

4.8 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


McMinn directly targets areas that have not been addressed in an in-depth or systematic manner elsewhere. This comprehensive and unique treatment of the key issues that distinguish Christian from secular counseling is important reading for both prospective and practicing counselors. (Joe Kloba, Ph.D., director of the Graduate Counseling Psychology Program, Palm Beach Atlantic College)

Dr. Mark McMinn has written a thoughtful and important book covering areas of psychology, theology, and spirituality. I highly recommend it to everyone interested in Christian counseling and integration. (Siang-Yang Tan, Ph.D., director of the Psy.D. program at the Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary)

McMinn’s experience and wisdom as both a teacher and a practitioner are reflected throughout this work. He has nailed a critical subject in Christian counseling, pushing the challenge of explicit integration of spiritual practice in counseling to a refined level. (George Ohlschlager, J.D., L.C.S.W., associate director of Redwood Family Institute)

This book―one of the best in its field―is a gift to counselors. The chapters on sin and prayer alone are worth the price of the book. And the ‘What If This Happened’ sections take the material out of the merely cerebral and force readers to interact with it in real-life scenarios. This book fills a major void and will become required reading for my seminary students. The six integration challenges are a gold mine for both the practitioner and the professor. (Gary J. Oliver, Ph.D., director of the D.Min. program in Marriage and Family Counseling, Denver Seminary)

From the Inside Flap

After years of discussion about the relationship between psychology and theology, it is time to move the discussions to a more intimate level: what actually happens in the Christian counseling office? It is here that counseling becomes intensely personal, reflecting counselors' spiritual lives as much as their psychological preparation and theological sophistication.This updated landmark book looks at what happens in two secret places in counselors' lives: behind the closed doors of their counseling offices and in their own spiritual lives.It asks such probing questions asHow can we move into the frontier of interdisciplinary integration, where the practical implications of responsible psychology, Christian theology, and spiritual growth are seen in every counseling interaction?What challenges do we face as we critically evaluate dominant views of mental health, establish a scientific base, and define relevant ethical standards for Christian counseling?How can we adapt our definitions of training?How can we nurture our own spiritual lives so that Christ will be revealed through us?It also asks practical questions, such asIs it wise to pray with a particular client?Under what circumstances should I use Scripture memory as part of counseling?What is the proper role of confession in the therapy process?Is forgiveness a reasonable goal in a specific situation?Mark R. McMinn is professor of psychology at George Fox University, where he teaches and serves as the director of faith integration in the Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology. Mark holds a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University, is a licensed psychologist in Oregon, and is board certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and a past president of the APA's Psychology of Religion division.Mark has received teacher-of-the-year awards at both George Fox University and Wheaton College, where he taught from 1993 to 2006. He was recently awarded the 2010 Graduate Researcher of the Year award at George Fox. Much of his research and all his clinical work in recent years have focused on clergy health and finding effective ways for mental health professionals and clergy to work well together.Mark's wife, Lisa, is a sociologist and an author. Together they raised three daughters, who are now grown. Mark and Lisa live in rural Oregon, where they attend Newberg Friends Church, tend honeybees and chickens, and run a small Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm.

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Product Details

  • Series: AACC Counseling Library
  • Hardcover: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; First Edition edition (June 25, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084235252X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0842352529
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
McMinn writes for the Christian professions, the religious, and the lay people. He also seeks to speak to those who are pursuing active integration of faith, psychology and theology. It is very refeshing reading as he discusses classic Christianity and its applicability to everyday problems. With the popular publication's sloppy "a little bit of this and a little bit of that" view of spirituality, McMinn presents a well thought out response. A must read for counselors, psychologist and psychiatrists.
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By JC Jack on October 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book does an excellent job in facing the questions every Christian counselor has to deal with in a secular world. Whether a student or clinician, this book provides clear direction without compromising ones faith. It respects existing theory to the therapeutic process, addresses their strengths and weaknesses, and shows the effectiveness of Christian tenants in the healing process. The book is easy to read and well structured. Sample cases are realist and McMinn does an excellent job of demonstrating the application of Christian beliefs to the healing process, covering a good cross section of disorders. For the lay counselor, the clinician, or individual in pastoral care this book is clear and thorough on the topic of Spiritual integration.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was written to answer an important question to many people that are in the field of counseling and some that are not. That question is
"how does a counselor integrate their faith in the therapy session, a faith that includes psychology and theology?" Many people struggle with this very question. We live in a world that is seemingly growing toward a "don't bring Christ into this" mentality because we are afraid we might offend someone. Some Counselors want to help people and they know that Christ can help, yet do not know how to incorporate that into their counseling methods or approaches. These are the things that McMinn tries to address. He does this in practical ways using the spiritual disciplines, counseling examples and scripture.

McMinn also explains the definitions, similarities, and differences between Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality. He writes in away that breaks down the terms and issues in away for the reader to understand and apply. The book is written for anyone who wishes to understand how they can truly integrate these three concepts into the therapy session. This book excels at helping the reader integrate spiritual disciplines that we as Christians should live by into the counseling session and also encourages the counselor if they are not incorporating these disciplines in their walk with the Lord, to do so.

This book really seeks to teach the counselor to multitask in the three categories of Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality. He suggest that the counselor who can learn to do this effectively will be able to give their clients the very best. This is not an easy task for any Christian Counselor however, it can and will be rewarding for both the counselor and the counselee.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Through illustrations and counseling session vignettes, McMinn (1996) provides an excellent working model of how to integrate psychology, theology and spirituality in his book of the same title. He begins the book with exploring the challenges which confronts the Christian counselor who is trying to integrate the science of psychology with the teachings of faith, all the while keeping both the professional and personal life of the counselor at the center of the discussion. McMinn stresses that what happens in the personal life of the counselor is just as important as what goes on behind the doors of the counselor's office. To help the reader understand how the counselor's worldview affects counseling style, McMinn uses vignettes he labels, "What if this happened?" Through these illustrations he is able to explore such issues as the need for a third discipline, namely, spiritual formation. Other challenges are discussed by McMinn as well. For example, he points out the need for a scientific basis, an ethical standard, and challenging the dominate models of mental health.

In the second chapter McMinn (1996) offers a more "detailed map" to reaching a healthy mental state (p. 44) in contrast with that of the scientific and theological models of psychology. He suggests that spiritual and psychological health go hand in hand and include a healthy sense of self, accurate awareness of need, and healing relationships. By incorporating all three disciplines, psychological, theological and spiritual formation, a more balanced model of psychological and spiritual healing is created.

The remainder of the book is dedicated to discussion on how and when a Christian counselor can utilize the basic tenants of faith in such a way that it promotes mental health in his/her clients.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Want to take your counseling to another level? well then this is the book for you. The title of the book speaks for it self, if you are an intellectual you will find the book very satisfying, and if you are a church leader this book will elevate your counseling effectiveness for the people who need you the most.
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