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Psychology, Theology, and Spirituality in Christian Counseling (AACC Library) Hardcover – June 25, 1996
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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)
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)
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 as
How 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 as
Is 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 APAs 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.
Marks 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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However, I found the way that McMinn arranged his chapters somewhat disjointed. The last six chapters deal with spiritual and theological concepts, but prayer, the use of Scripture, confession and forgiveness are active behaviors. McMinn describes sin as an underlying cause or state of existence, and redemption is an end result. Jumbling them all together in no particular order, without an introduction or explanation of the order of presentation, left me feeling a little discombobulated.
There was one more thing that left me slightly unsatisfied. Why did McMinn choose to address those particular six aspects of Christian doctrine and not any others? Why did not he speak, for instance, on the benefits of tithing, the practice of hospitality, and the catharsis of service? While I recognize that every author must limit their work, I wonder what the purpose of selecting these six particular aspects was. It would have been beneficial to have addressed that topic.